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Strong & Lean! Our Best Fat-Burning MovesEver

The #1 Muscle Secret P. 56


Power Food Combos P. 104


Drop 20 lbs Fast! P. 24

Decode Her Mind End Back Pain

84 Must-Have Tech Toys

Our 22-page Gift Guide!



Mazda3 Grand Touring interior with Premium Package shown.

T H E N E W M A ZDA 3 The 2017 Mazda3 is designed to make driving better. Before you go anywhere. Its newly refined interior is crafted with driver-centric details that help you enjoy every drive. Even more. Like an available leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel that fits the optimal position of your hands. An advanced Active Driving Display that lets you keep your eyes on the road. And a new electronic parking brake, placed within easy reach. Why do we obsess over making every detail feel just right? Because Driving Matters.



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12.16 Strong for Life Pull yourself out of a tedious workout routine. Our plan, built on the five new pillars of fitness, brings back the fun. BY ANDREW HEFFERNAN, C.S.C.S. PAGE 98

90 Best and Worst of the Year Celebrity deaths, noisy politicians, and lots of nipples. It’s been a wild ride, 2016.

104 6 Power Combos These foods are even better eaten together.

110 Battle of the Brains A man’s guide to a woman’s mind. BY ERIC SPITZNAGEL

114 End Back Pain T U R E L I L L E G R AV E N (m a n), DA N F O R B E S (b i ke)

And 9 other problems. Also: how to know if you need surgery. BY MARKHAM HEID


Tony Bennett His secret to living the good life.

THE BEST TECH TOYS FOR MEN 2017 Flip this magazine over to discover the must-have gear of the year.


December 2016 | 5


Useful Stuff

Sex + Relationships 24/ Drop 20 Pounds—or More! This guy lost lots more. Try his tricks.



30/ Do Those Magic Penis Pills Work? The truth about herbal sex supplements for men. 33/ Learn to Chill Like Santa Claus Tips from a mall pro and Bad Santa 2 star Billy Bob Thornton. BY MEGAN DITROLIO

36/ A Winner’s Guide to Losing Your easy three-step plan to success. BY SAM WEINMAN

16/ Ask the Girl Next Door What do I text after a hookup? BY ALI EAVES

38/ Talk About Hot Sex! No, really: It improves your sex life. Start with this one question. 79/ Love at First...Cow Chase? Six men recount the moment they knew she was the one.

42/ Why Women Love Guitar Players Rock-star secrets. BY ERIC SPITZNAGEL


Fitness + Muscle 45

Food + Nutrition 34/ A Man, a Pan, a Plan A little time and a few ingredients yield big, beefy flavor. 61/ The New Kale Chard may rhyme with “hard,” but it’s easy and delicious. BY CHRIS THOMPSON

64/ Nuts about Nut Butters Protein, healthy fats, and endless double entendres? Hell, yes! We found the best of the best. 45/ Go Outdoors, Get in Shape Winter sports: Because you’re never too old to play in the snow. BY DOUG SCHNITZSPAHN

56/ The No. 1 Muscle Secret The key to more strength and power is right behind you. BY KRISTEN DOLD

6 | December 2016

STYLE + GROOMING Look like a million bucks— and save some bucks too— with our online shopping tips and clothes fit for a new job. PAGE 73

67/ Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Your playbook for negotiating the party spread. 70/ Banish Your Beer Belly But keep the beer! These brews are light on calories, not taste. 124/ 10 Best Fat-Burning Moves Fire up your metabolism with this intense fat-loss plan.

ON THE COVER Tim Robards, photographed by Jason Ierace.

C l o c k w i s e f r o m t o p l e f t : J E R E M Y M . L A N G E , A r t h u r B e l e b e a u / Tr u n k A r c h i v e , C L A I R E B E N O I S T , N A T H A N P E R K E L , S t e p h e n M a t e r a / Ta n d e m S t o c k

Weight Loss



Thank you Matthew Kerr for trusting us with your first tailored suit. We’re happy to hear your internship turned into your first job — not that we’re trying to take credit. Happy Holidays.


fixed (including himself), and good winter grub. We’ve got ’em all covered. Here’s a snapshot. Let actress Nina Dobrev steer you through the MH Tech Guide.

International Tip of the Month


Drinking a glass of red wine every day could lower your risk of depression, heart disease, and dementia. Choose Tempranillo over sangria, which has added sugar.

8 | December 2016

2/ Yowch! This issue also addresses your questions about the pain that’s been making you wince for weeks: What is that? What should I do? Markham Heid has answers in “Should You Finally Get It Fixed?” (page 114), and he’s not talking about the pup out back. He’s talking arthritic hips and deviated septums. (Or is it septa?) And the not-sosimple machine we call the pitching arm. And hernias! So why put off till tomorrow what hurts today? We’ll help you decide if surgery is the solution for you. For example, if you have trouble breathing during workouts, maybe it’s time to fix your septum.

Hips feel like rusty ball joints? We’ll assess the job.

3/ Eat these words. Which brings us to Paul Kita’s entrée, “The New Power Food Formula” (page 104). True, some guys eat just one thing for lunch. But Kita found a way to intimidate Mother Nature into revealing the food combos you need to get strong. For example, sprinkle sweet potatoes with cayenne to unlock more antioxidants. You know you’d never have thought of that. This piece is a teaser for the new book Eat for Extraordinary Health & Healing, published by Rodale Inc., maker of fine books and magazines, including this one.

E R I C R AY D A V I D S O N ( D o b r e v ) , C H A R L E S M A S T E R S ( b a l l j o i n t ) , M a r í a d e M i g u e l (M a r t í n e z), E n c yc l o p ae d i a B r i t a n n i c a / U I G /G e t t y I m a g e s (f l a g)


1/ Technology is wonderful. All you have to do is order Siri or Alexa to mow the lawn, raise the kids, braise the beef, and turn on the reading light—and then take a look at this month’s special section. We’ve crammed tons of useful tech in there, including robot tech, car tech, and tech to get you fit. Plus, Nina Dobrev has some smart advice on how to improve the mood of your flight with spa soundtracks. Oh, and there’s plenty of tech to connect you with your favorite people, shows, and music. Put it all together and you get the 2017 Men’s Health Tech Guide. We thank the dozen or so whose work was so instrumental in creating pages so beautifully rendered that after you read them, you can ask MIT for extra credit.

MARIA RODALE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Matt Bean

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BILL STUMP Executive Editor BILL STIEG Deputy Editor BEN COURT Features Editor MELISSA JEWSBURY Managing Editor BJ GADDOUR Fitness Director ERIC SPITZNAGEL Executive Writer MIKE DARLING Senior Editor PAUL KITA Food & Nutrition Editor MICHAEL EASTER Fitness Editor JULIE STEWART Health Editor JERILYN COVERT Associate Editor BRIELLE GREGORY Assistant Editor MEGAN DiTROLIO, DANIELLE FOX, JAMES NOSEK Interns

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BETH BUEHLER Chief Operating Officer MIRANDA DESANTIS SVP, Human Resources MICHAEL LAFAVORE Editorial Director LAURA FRERER-SCHMIDT SVP, Corporate Sales & Women’s Health ROBERT NOVICK SVP, Global Business Development JOYCEANN SHIRER SVP, Marketing HEIDI CHO VP, Digital Content GAIL GONZALES VP, Publisher, Rodale Books

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10 | December 2016

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Rodale Inc. 400 South 10th St. Emmaus, PA 18098-0099 Men’s Health carries the very latest health, fitness, and nutrition reporting and taps the world’s foremost experts so you can be more knowledgeable about your health. But every body is different. Take what you read here as general information; individual diagnoses and treatments can come only from a health care practitioner.


The Prescription News you can use from the Men’s Health team of expert advisors.


A Tool for Prolonging Endurance


An Easier Treatment for Allergies


A Convenient Alternative to Eyedrops


The Simplest Way to Stay on Your Game

Here’s a new catchphrase for allergy sufferers: sublingual immunotherapy. It could save you a lot of time and aggravation. Basically, you’re prescribed allergenlaced drops or tablets that you place under your tongue, hence the term “sublingual.” Before, people with allergies had to take time off from work, go to a clinic, check in, get a shot, and then wait 20 minutes in case of side effects. Now you can be treated at home, since these drops and tablets have a lower risk of anaphylaxis, a dangerous allergic reaction. Many physicians allow patients to dose themselves. This therapy isn’t usually covered by insurance, but I’m sure if it were, plenty of people would choose it over shots.

Nobody likes to put in eyedrops. But someone diagnosed with an eye disease is often required to follow a strict eyedrop regimen. A glaucoma patient, for example, might need three different drops at various intervals throughout the day. That’s hard. Thankfully, ophthalmologists can now utilize an “eluting stent” to administer eye medication continuously throughout the day. This tiny silicone device can be placed on the eye in a minimally invasive procedure. In the next few years as companies get FDA approval, these stents will become more routine for glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and even dry eye—common problems that can be tricky to treat.

You know that drinking plenty of water is critical for health. Now, a new study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms something you may have already suspected: When you suffer from even very minor dehydration— something most guys wake up with—you’re more likely to lack focus and attention. Your memory can suffer too, and you might even be more prone to anxiety. In other words, your brain pays the price for your hydration deficit which, according to another study, could be due to a drop in bloodflow. Stave off dehydration by drinking at least 8 ounces of water when you wake up in the morning. Then have a glass with each meal, and two after a workout.

Mark Peterson, Ph.D., M.S., is an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan.

Jeremiah Alt, M.D., Ph.D., is associate director of the RhinologySinus and Skull Base Surgery program at the University of Utah.

Kimberly Cockerham, M.D., is an adjunct professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Mike Roussell, Ph.D., is a nutrition consultant and author of The Six Pillars of Nutrition.

The Horizon: The Internet of Health 12 | December 2016

“We’ve all seen some bad potholes on the road. Sometimes I’ll see a knee that looks like one, where the joint is ground down to the bone. As a knee surgeon, I’m really excited by advances that allow us to regenerate joint cushions using stem cell– type technologies. We can now grow a new cushion using a patient’s own cells. With one variation, called scaffold technology, surgeons grow cells on natural cell-supporting tissue and lay them into the knee through a small incision. One hurdle is the FDA, which is slow to approve scaffolds. A lot of these scaffolds were developed in the United States, but right now are more available overseas than for our own patients.”

Nicholas DiNubile, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon and author of the FrameWork book series.

All that health data swirling around is coming together. In a few years, all your medical records will form your own personal health cloud, including your family history and even your searches. Say you’re at risk for brain disease. It’ll be easy to compare your MRI results with thousands of others, even on your phone, so you and your doctor can make smarter decisions. —David Liebeskind, M.D., is a professor of clinical neurology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

S A M P E E T (i c o n s), J O E M c K E N D R Y ( p o r t r a i t), L o o k i n g G l a s s / G e t t y I m a g e s (t a b l e t a n d s t e t h o s c o p e)

I like it when technology used for elite athletes trickles down to the general public. For example, a new wearable device can predict your lactate threshold. With this info you can adjust your workout for optimum training efficiency and also reduce postworkout soreness. Lactate is produced in muscles during intense exercise, which leads to an increase in acidity— that’s when you “feel the burn.” Your lactate threshold is the point when lactate accumulation and acidity increase faster than your body can handle. You can raise your threshold and running efficiency with interval and fartlek runs, which bring you above and below the threshold. The device is $420; see


Ask Men’s Health Definitive Answers to Life’s Essential Questions HEALTH

I’ve been seeing little dots and other shapes in my field of vision lately. It’s not all the time and seems random. What’s up with that? GEORGE, SANTA FE, NM

Sounds like classic floaters. These black flecks are collagen fibers that clump together and dart around in the jellylike substance at the back of your eyeball, casting shadows on your retina. Floaters tend to show up with age and don’t come and go. They just seem more obvious when you look at something like a white wall or a blank Word doc. You can’t do anything about them, except take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone— three out of four people see them, according to one study. If you notice an unusual number of new floaters, have your eyes checked. “Occasionally, floaters can signify an inflammatory eye disease or damage to the retina, including the possibility of a sight-threatening retinal detachment,” says John Mason III, M.D., an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Alabama. GUY KNOWLEDGE

I’m up for a promotion at work. Know any Jedi mind tricks to convince the deciders that I’m the guy? TRAVIS, HARTFORD, CT

A six-pack requires two things: low body fat and adequate muscle mass. But genetics plays a role too. “Two guys with the same body fat and diet and exercise program rarely look exactly the same,” says Christine Mermier, Ph.D., director of the exercise physiology lab at the University of New Mexico. You might not shed fat easily or you might store it around your belly. So blame your DNA, age, stress, or the lighting. Still, most men can get their abs to show if they hit on the right diet and exercise and are extremely disciplined.

Look the part you must, Padawan. Show them you mean business, and by “show,” we mean business: Wear a shirt in a bold color, like cobalt blue. “That exudes confidence and leadership,” says fashion stylist Jacqui Stafford. Your shoes should be polished—it shows that you know you’re representing the company. And don’t forget body language. Step forward when you’re presenting, which conveys fearlessness and establishes territory, says body language expert Patti Wood. In your office, sit up straight. Slouching may seem cool but could be seen as disrespectful; and hunching over your computer brings your head down and saps your power.

14 | December 2016



Is it true that some guys can’t get abs that show? If that’s the case, how do I know if I’m wasting time aiming for that six-pack? MATT, MEMPHIS, TN

For the moment Miles wears Eclause boots and Kingan bracelets Available in-store and at

Ask Men’s Health


I never liked flossing—and recently heard that I don’t have to bother. Really? DAVE, PHILADELPHIA, PA

The controversy about flossing stems from the fact that studies haven’t proved the habit helpful. But that could simply be due to a dearth of research. Floss is an inexpensive product that scientists don’t have much incentive to study, says SooWoo Kim, D.M.D., of Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Kim sees clear benefits when he checks the choppers of faithful flossers. Guys who rarely floss have plaque buildup between their teeth, which can lead to gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. If you truly despise flossing, Dr. Kim recommends the Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra ($90, A burst of water and air dislodges the gunk between your teeth.

The key to mixing brown and black: Step forward with confidence.


Pushups hurt my shoulders. What am I doing wrong? LOUIS, MOBILE, AL


Please resolve this dilemma once and for all: Can I wear black with brown? NICK, IOWA CITY, IA

It’s probably your elbow and hand positions, says MH fitness advisor Ben Bruno. “Flaring your elbows or having them in too close to your body stresses your shoulders,” he says. Keep your elbows at a 30- to 45-degree angle. Then flare your hands out—your index fingers at 1 and 11 o’clock—which reduces torque on your shoulder joint.

Ali Eaves takes your questions on sex, love, lust, and relationships. What’s the best text to send a woman after a hot one-night stand? MIGUEL, DALLAS, TX

“Free for dinner Friday?” Simple words can say a lot. You’re casually making it known that you’d like to see her again—and soon. That’s all she probably wants to hear after a passionate fling. The subtext is that you had an amazing time with her. Being asked out on a date will pique her interest a lot more than a three-paragraph text about how awesome the sex was. Less creepy too. She’ll peg you as a confident, stand-up guy who’s into more than just sex. And you have every reason to believe she’ll say yes. After all, she knows you know how to push her buttons, right?

I work 60-hour weeks and earn twice what my wife does. Do we really have to split the chores? TOM, CHARLOTTE, NC

Have a question? We’ve got answers! Ask at


Why do I crave foods that are sweet and salty? JON, MINNEAPOLIS, MN

It’s a Cro-Magnon combo your brain can’t resist. Over the millennia, our ancestors came to learn that sweet meant a food was high in calories, while salty signaled a food that might replenish electrolytes. Today, the combination of different flavors and textures perpetuates snacking via something called “sensory-specific satiety,” says Julia Hormes, Ph.D., a psychologist who studies food cravings at SUNY’s University at Albany. Take chocolate-covered pretzels (but not the whole bag!). If you eat just chocolate, your tastebuds will eventually tire of sweet. Same goes for pretzels and salt. But when you merge sweet and salty, your brain has a harder time reaching the point of flavor fullness. So try peanut butter and celery: This combo delivers the same sweet-salty pleasure without weighing on your waistline.

I’m going to save you a lifetime of arguing, Tom. Take that fat paycheck of yours, peel off a hundred bucks or so, and call a cleaning service. Either that or learn to tolerate a little mess around the house. Look, of course it makes sense for the partner who has more free time to do more of the homefire tending. But the way you’re using math to calculate who does what is bound to breed resentment. If you bring in outside help, you’re not only shutting down the chore debate once and for all but also providing employment for someone who probably cleans better than the both of you combined. Follow Ali on Facebook at MHGirlNextDoor, and on Twitter at @MHGirlNextDoor.

N AT H A N P E R K E L (s h o e s) , s t y l i n g : B r i a n B o y é; M a t t R a i n e y ( E a v e s); A n n a W i l l i a m s / O f f s e t ( p o p c o r n)

The short answer is yes. The injunction against combining these colors is antiquated. That said, you can still look like a chump if you don’t do it right. “It should be apparent that you paired the colors on purpose,” says Manhattan-based fashion stylist Seth Howard. “That’s why the correct proportions and

tones are so important.” Howard likes the 80-20 rule: If your shirt or pants are one color, the other color should be more of an accent (like a brown shirt with a black suit, or tan shoes with black jeans). When picking your browns, Howard says, go dark brown or light tan; anything else makes you look like you dressed in the dark. “When done correctly, combining the two hues shows your personality and tells the world you’re savvy enough to know that the old rule is BS.”





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Jimmy the Bartender Straight-up advice on women, work, and other things that drive men crazy.

“But I am ready to go.”

My boy is 11 and has no interest in sports. I won’t lie— I’m disappointed.

message for a coffee mug: “World’s Greatest Dad.”

Tom, Richmond, VA Believe me, Thomas, the boy’s doing you a favor. Angry coaches yelling at him, other parents beefing when their little whiz kids don’t get their shot? Who needs it? Just take him for a hike in the woods and put a fishing rod in his hand. Worry about making memories, not a star athlete.

I hate those $16 vodka cocktails with “essence of artisanal persimmon.” But I also hate whiskey. What can I order that won’t be an embarrassment?

I’m 62 and happily married. When will I stop lusting after young women at the office?

Bob, Annapolis, MD

You can’t, Bob, so just leave her alone. Maybe she wants to look good for you or maybe she’s trying to look good for herself. Or maybe she wants to impress her friends. Or, and this is just me talking here, just maybe she’s getting herself dolled up for the handsome bartender.

Jimmy Calls BS on... 18 | December 2016

E-Gift Cards Want to show your pal what you think about him? Send him an email with an emoji, then click to add a $25 Starbucks gift card. He’ll then know you’re wholly inauthentic. Or: Buy a card with dogs playing poker on it and write a note‚ longhand, offering to buy him a drink. Card envelope stamp. Cheaper. Better!

Coffee mugs with messages on them. Yes or no? Gary, Aurora, CO Nah. Big, important ideas turn into small, pretentious slogans the moment they show up on a bumper sticker, T-shirt, mug, or tattoo. There’s only one acceptable

My boss is a great guy when we’re outside the office. Why is he such a jerk at work? Tim, Cleveland, OH You’ve got one man and two variables here, Tim. The two variables are “outside the office” and “work.” The one constant is the man. So maybe the problem is the work, not your boss. My question: What are you doing to help? If it’s nothing, then trust me, your boss is saying, “Why is Tim such a great guy outside the office, but such an overpaid, underperforming, passive-aggressive, ornery jerk at work?”

M i c h e l l e P e d o n e (J i m m y) , A r t+ C o m m e r c e (w o m a n) , J e f f T i t c o m b / G e t t y I m a g e s ( l a p t o p) , W i l l i e B . T h o m a s / G e t t y I m a g e s (g i f t)

My girlfriend is totally hot but takes forever to get ready to go out. How can I speed her up?

Randall, Portland, OR If you’re like most 62year-old men, Randy, I’m going to say in about three years. When you retire. I’m not one of those prudes who thinks it’s a social sin to appreciate an intelligent woman who’s fit and dresses nicely. But that doesn’t give you permission to stare— to linger over every curve, smoke coming out of your ears. Sure, some things in this life make a man say, “Thank you, God,” and a beautiful woman is one of them. But so is a rainbow trout. Neither one wants to go to bed with you. So whisper the gratitude to yourself and get back to work.

Morris, La Mesa, CA Just because $16 vodka cocktails with persimmon exist doesn’t mean you have to drink them. Chances are you’ll be happier with a simple, manly cocktail. Nothing dumb with a funny name. Order a gin gimlet, no ice, no umbrella. It’s liquid testosterone, the kind your great-granddad would appreciate: Gin, lime juice, sugar on the rim. Just saying the word “gimlet” gives you that oldfashioned confidence that makes the ladies look up. Try it: “Barkeep, gimme a damn gin gimlet.” In 10 minutes, you’ll feel great.


Men at Work

WORK, WIN, REPEAT How serial entrepreneur Craig Cooper sharpens his skills. By Tom Foster

No shoes, no shirt— for Cooper, it’s just another day at the office.

20 | December 2016

Three years ago Craig Cooper got his AARP card in the mail. For most guys, that’s a gut punch served with a side of life sucks. Cooper laughed and shredded it. “Retiring just when things were getting good seemed patently absurd,” says the New Zealand–born entrepreneur, now 53. Cooper, who’s worn many hats since he delivered milk at age 12, hit it big here in 2002 when he cofounded the telecom giant Boost Mobile USA. While a lot of men would settle into a life of palm trees and frozen drinks, Cooper has used his accomplishments as a launching pad. Now he’s also cohost of CNBC’s Adventure Capitalists (a kind of Shark Tank for outdoorsy types). What’s kept Cooper going through successes, failures, and near-death experiences including a coma, a heart infection, and even a lightning strike? Focus. He wants to live his healthiest, most productive life and meticulously designs his routine for peak performance. (See his book, Your New Prime: 30 Days to Better Sex, Eternal Strength, and a Kick-Ass Life After 40.) Here’s how you can draw on Cooper’s lifelong success.



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Men at Work


“My office is designed around keeping me mobile all day.”

Bookend Your Days

Train for Total Recall

When entrepreneurs approach Cooper for funding, he asks them where they want to be in five years. “It gets straight to how passionate they are about their business,” he says. He also looks at the competition. “The idea can’t just be slightly has to be exponentially better than what’s already out there.” He never forgets to ask why they want him to invest. “If they come in saying, ‘I’m passionate about this and I want a strategic partner and advisor,’ they’ll likely have a great result with me.”

Cooper sets aside a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day to use a notebook called the Five Minute Journal. He’ll reflect on the past day and set goals for the future. “It’s a very simple, powerful grounding and gratitude practice,” he says. He always keeps a pen and paper at his bedside in case he happens to wake up with an idea. “You don’t want the stress of having to remember it.” He also has a meditation mat next to his bed to use for 10 minutes before bed and 20 minutes after waking up.

As he crossed the threshold into his 40s, Cooper worried more about maintaining his memory. So he decided to exercise his brain like a muscle. At night, he’ll practice a total-recall drill by going over the day’s details, being as specific as possible. He’ll ask himself the name of the barista that morning or the words on a billboard he passed. He also uses the app Wunderlist, which lets users create and share to-do lists. “I’m crazy about lists, to the point where my office is covered with whiteboard paint,” he says.

Beat Your Chest

Make Mini-Goals

Embrace Adrenaline

Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker and entrepreneur and an old friend of Cooper’s, has talked about the effect of posture on confidence and pride. Cooper has put this philosophy to use. “I’m especially conscious of my posture and physical state when I’m going into a big meeting or presentation,” he says. “I’ll jump up and down like I’m on a mini trampoline, do some air squats, raise my arms above my head, or just stand there with my chest out. You can’t go into a hot situation cold.”

To hit his targets, Cooper adopts a tactic called a goal ladder from an athletic performance specialist at Stanford. Basically, you list one big, audacious goal at the top of the page. Below that, list two intermediate goals that lead toward the big one. Then, write daily, weekly, or monthly activities you can do that lead to those. “It’s a great way to focus your efforts on where you’re headed,” Cooper says. He’s using the strategy to launch a health website targeted to men 40 and older and to train for a Spartan race.

Long-term stress—that ongoing feeling of not having control of your life—can be debilitating. But short bursts of stress around deadlines can be empowering, Cooper says. You just have to think of them that way, like a quarterback who needs to lead a last-minute drive. It’s not that he feels no stress; it’s that he accepts his pounding heart as a symptom of a high-performance state. Just remember that we’re talking about short bursts. If you have a few hours to meet a big deadline, take breaks to breathe.

22 | December 2016

Power Up Craig Cooper launches his day with superfoods. Matcha Smoothie Mix 1 teaspoon each of Aiya Matcha Ceremonial Grade green tea, organic coconut oil, red palm oil, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil; 1 serving of Vega Sport Performance Protein (chocolate); 1 tablespoon organic avocado; a handful of organic blueberries; a sprinkle each of turmeric and cayenne; ¼ cup rice milk; and 3 cups filtered water. Avo and Sardines “My grandmother used to fix sardines for me,” Cooper says. “Their nutrients are a powerhouse of men’s health, loaded with protein, omega-3s and vitamin B12.” He eats them with Cholula hot sauce, parsley, onion, and avocado on a slice of Dave’s Killer Bread.

S t y l i n g : L a u r e n K n u d s e n ; G r o o m i n g : L y d i a F. S e l l e r s u s i n g B a x t e r o f C a l i f o r n i a / E x c l u s i v e A r t i s t s M a n a g e m e n t ; E R I C B . M O R T E N S E N ( i l l u s t r a t i o n )

Reward Passion

Useful Stuff Tons of tips, tricks, and strategies for life. Edited by Jerilyn Covert

VINSON SMITH Weight before 505 After 220 Vitals Vinson Smith, 29, Charlotte, NC Occupation Player development coach, high school football; cofounder, Hard Body Fitness Personal Training Group Height 6'1" Start date 2007


285 POUNDS” Vinson Smith, this year’s most compelling Belly Off! story, weighed 500-plus pounds. Then he lost half his weight and took up yoga. What’s your excuse? As told to Brielle Gregory

I’ve always been a big guy. I come from a family of big people. My father was 6'4" and weighed 275 pounds. He used to say that once I learned how to make a bologna sandwich, it was all over from there. I lost my dad when I was 16. He was diagnosed with liver cancer in January 2005 and passed away seven months later. Thanks to my football coaches and a good support system in my small town, I stayed focused and kept my playing weight at 336. But by about 12 months after my senior year in high school, I’d gained 50 to 80 pounds. I didn’t have any direction. The very man who’d taught me everything wasn’t there. I had no idea what I wanted to do. But one thing I did know how to do was eat. My mom used to make one pot of spaghetti for the family and then another pot of spaghetti for me. I’d eat the whole thing within a day or two. I once ate 100 wings in a sitting. I was eating for reasons I didn’t understand. Even now, as I’m about to enter my 30s, there are a lot of things I wish my father had told me. But I’ve learned. After I make a mistake, I take action to correct it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.


December 2016 | 25

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Smith forged this muscle with portion control, real food, and strength training.

Three Yoga Poses for Overweight Men Go easy. Try these moves.

Plank In a pushup position with your hands beyond shoulder width, drop your butt so your head and spine align. Brace your core. Hold for five breaths. “It’s awesome for building arm and core strength without crunches, which can hurt your lower back,” says Sadie Nardini, founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga.


“The most beautiful thing about my fitness journey is that what helps me is also helping other people.”

THE FOOD I’ve learned how to eat enough to stay satisfied. In the morning, after my cardio, I’ll have a cup or two of fruit. I eat a lot of watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapes. For snacks I’ll eat cucumbers and radishes. Then I’ll typically do chicken, asparagus, and brown rice for dinner. I still deal with emotional eating, but now I know where it comes from. I had to cry about my dad. Opening up extinguished my hunger. THE FITNESS I started out by walking from stop sign to stop sign in my neighborhood. Eventually I built up the confidence to join a gym. The biggest 26 | December 2016

battle started when I hit the mid-300-pound range. So that’s when I started coaching football and running 40-yard dashes with the kids. Now I’m a yoga fiend. Every week I practice yoga at least two or three days, do a strength program at least twice, and go running and biking three times. I love the great community of Charlotte, and on weekends I explore. I might grab a bike and ride uptown, or run the trails at one of my favorite places, Freedom Park. THE REWARD I went from shopping in plus-size magazines to visiting real stores. Now I can go to Polo. I can shop at Nautica. That’s a treat for me because I never thought I’d be able to. I like my shirts to fit tight now—everything’s spandex. The most beautiful thing about my fitness journey is that what helps me is also helping other people. I’m working toward becoming an exercise physiologist. I’m still single, but the basis of my workout plan isn’t about right now. It’s about what I want to be doing 10 years from now.

Tree While standing, shift your weight to your left foot as you rest your right foot against your heel. Slowly raise your right foot to your shin or the inside of your thigh. Put your palms together at your chest and gaze at a fixed point. Hold for 10 slow breaths and work up to 20. “It works your whole lower body,” Nardini says.

Cour tesy Vinson Smith (inset, opening spread), +ISM (illustrations)

THE WAKE-UP CALL I was a groomsman at my cousin’s wedding and I could barely stand for 45 minutes. I was sweating. The tuxedo coat I had on was a size 64. I remember thinking, “How am I going to look into the eyes of a woman and tell her she’s going to have me for the rest of my life? What kind of healthy, long life can I share with her at 500 pounds?”

Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, palms facing down, knees bent, and feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor. Raise your hips as high as you can and lift your chin a little off your chest. Hold the pose for five breaths. “This provides a ton of chest and shoulder flexibility,” says Nardini.




precisely synched to official radio frequencies for the t world’s most accurate time.


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Pack Your Lunch Hour Powering through lunch makes you look productive, but you end up tired and stressed. So take a break and avoid these mistakes. By Megan DiTrolio

Make Your Heart Happy Two cardio workouts, more fun than the treadmill.

“I’ll be back when I feel like it. How’s your ham sandwich, sucker?”


Go ahead, get your groove on. In a 10-year study of some 48,000 adults, researchers linked moderate-intensity dancing with a lower risk of dying from heart disease. It may mimic high-intensity interval training, says study author Dafna Merom, Ph.D. Dancing may also stave off depression, ease stress, and save you from social isolation, all linked to heart disease. Shy? Go with simple moves, and lighten up— no one’s laughing at you. WITH THE GUYS

You Scarf Your Food at Your Desk. Sitting all day has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and premature death. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week. Lunchtime is perfect for that! The Fix Take a walk. It’ll leave you more productive, enthusiastic, and relaxed, studies suggest. If you must work, schedule walking meetings; research shows that they fuel creative thinking. 28 | December 2016

You’re Eating Poorly or Not Enough. Skimping on lunch can lead to overeating at night, and grab-and-go meals can be nutritionally lacking, so you crash later on. The Fix Pack a healthy combo of protein, carbs, and fat for energy, says dietitian Christopher Mohr, Ph.D. Roll up leftover rotisserie chicken and avocado in a whole wheat wrap; munch on bell pepper and carrot slices, and pack an apple too.

You Don’t Use the Break to Do What You Like. If you’re not in the mood to, say, join your colleagues for lunch, then doing that won’t be as relaxing as clocking alone time (and vice versa), studies show. It may actually fatigue you. The Fix Engaging in an activity you enjoy will help alleviate work stress and improve your well-being, research shows. If that means escaping to your car for some sports radio downtime, go for it.

You Miss Your Midday Workout. You’re also missing out on the brainboosting benefits of increased bloodflow, says trainer Craig Ballantyne. The Fix A 15-minute circuit can be as effective as a longer, more moderate routine. Do this four times: prisoner-style reverse lunges (30 seconds per side); pause pushups (pause at the bottom and top) for 1 minute; side plank (30 seconds per side). Rest for 1 minute.


Hours of TV a day that, if exceeded, could lower a man’s sperm count. Want kids? Head for bed, not the couch. Source: American Journal of Epidemiology

Master file (man), (dancers), MICHAEL BRANDON MYERS (icons)

Learn to love pickup basketball this winter. The constant up-and-down court activity can help you reach and sustain 90 percent of your maximum heart rate, say scientists in Spain. In the study, guards and forwards logged the fastest and farthest runs. But you weren’t planning to play center anyway, right?






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Prepare for Liftoff Three simple ways to solve the hard problem of ED. Run Intervals Losing excess weight can help boost your libido, says Jamin Brahmbhatt, M.D., a urologist with Orlando Health. High-intensity interval training is a proven fat burner. Dr. Brahmbhatt runs for 20 minutes straight, alternating between sprints and jogs.

AreYouGettingStiffed? Those “herbal” male-enhancement supplements don’t work as claimed. Worse, some contain dangerous drugs. Here’s what you need to know. up having killer sex—literally. These drugs expand blood vessels, which is perilous for folks with these conditions. Even if you’re healthy, you still don’t know what chemicals are in that pill. The active ingredients are probably counterfeit, but they’re still strong. Plus, they’re produced under lax supervision in some basement lab. So why are they allowed? A 1994 law (pushed by the supplement industry) says herbal supps don’t have to be FDA tested or approved before they go on sale. If the FDA does find an illegal or unlisted ingredient, it asks for a voluntary recall (and issues consumer alerts; visit and search “tainted sexual enhancement products” for a list). This is a largely cat-and-mouse game, and the mouse usually gets away. Bottom line: Visit a doctor, not a convenience store, for ED. Some drugmakers offer discounts for prescription ED drugs—without the steep price for your health.

WORKS FOR US I’m a reluctant winter runner and need pampering to stay out in the cold. The North Face Runners 2 Etip ($30, are gloves made of lightweight fleece to keep my mitts warm. They have conductive fingertips so I can easily skip songs or find a fresh podcast, and they’re great palm protectors if I want to pump out a few pushups outdoors. I also wear them when grilling outside so that I can start the timer easily and know when to flip the rib eyes. —Ben Court, features editor 30 | December 2016

Stick to the Scrip If you’re on statins for high cholesterol, keep taking them: They may aid erectile health, a new Greek study suggests. As it turns out, they boost your blood vessels’ ability to expand and contract, which helps more blood reach your penis faster. That’s a good thing.


Your increased risk of being in a car crash if you’re an angry driver Source: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto


D a n S a e l i n g e r / Tr u n k A r c h i v e ( r o c k e t ) , RYA N O . ( g l o v e s ) , ST E V E S A N F O R D ( C o u r t )

You’ve seen the ads and perhaps scanned the list of exotic ingredients: yohimbine, horny goat weed, arginine, maca, ginkgo biloba. The promise: erections like a 19year-old’s, rock-hard and reliable, and for less money and hassle than Viagra—no prescription needed. Men spend hundreds of thousands each year for these supplements. Yet they haven’t been proven to work. What’s more, some “herbal” supplements are anything but. As of this past September, the FDA had found 32 with the same active ingredients used in ED drugs like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra, or chemicals so close that they work the same way. It makes sense: If a company wants to hook you, relying on herbs alone is risky. Add real medicine and its magic formula may seem to work. So what’s wrong with Viagra in your herbs? For one thing, you don’t know how much is in there. Plus, if you have diabetes, high BP, or heart disease, you could end

Lay Off the Porn About a quarter of men seeking treatment for ED are under 40; for many of them, it’s due to performance anxiety. “Men watch porn and think they have to last for hours,” Dr. Brahmbhatt says. Don’t buy in: Intercourse lasts about 5 to 8 minutes, he says.


power through your workout Find out how the polyphenols found in pomegranate juice may help fuel your exercise goals. Exciting research examined the potential impact of 100% pomegranate juice on postworkout muscle strength.

MAKE POM YOUR WORKOUT PARTNER. Certain types of polyphenol antioxidants, like those found in pomegranate juice, may help increase nitric oxide bioavailability by protecting it from breaking down in the body. Nitric oxide helps your body get the oxygen and nutrients it needs during exercise.

POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice is known for its polyphenol antioxidants. An in vitro study at UCLA found that each serving has more antioxidant capacity, on average, than red wine and green tea. Every athlete should stock the fridge with POM. DRINK POM AND CARRY ON, AND ON, AND ON. A 2011 study conducted at UT at Austin on 17 athletic men found preliminary but promising results for muscle strength. Those who drank two servings (about 8oz each) of pomegranate juice per day for about two weeks maintained more of their post-exercise arm strength versus the placebo group. The men followed their normal diet and weight-training routine. On the eighth day, the men completed specific strength exercises at maximum capacity, and drank an additional serving of pomegranate juice immediately after exercising. A similar trend was seen in the knee though it did not reach statistical significance.

In a preliminary 2014 UT study on 45 recreationally active young men, the postexercise arm and leg strength was significantly higher in men drinking 8oz of pomegranate juice daily compared to the placebo group. ANTIOXIDANT Potency Index 100

96 68


Red Wine Cranberry POM Wonderful Juice


Green Tea

Contains 3x the antioxidants, on average, of green tea. On day four of the eight-day trial, they completed a defined exercise regimen, and isometric muscle strength in the arm and leg was measured over the following four days.

Although the research reported is promising, additional clinical research is needed to establish causation and the potential impact of pomegranate polyphenols on exercise. And if all that isn’t enough, POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice is a good source of potassium, an electrolyte key to muscle function—which makes POM the new top banana. Begin your daily workout with a bottle of POM today.

Pick up POM in the produce section of your store or order now from AmazonFresh.

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Ranking of being obese or overweight among preventable causes of cancer, after smoking and excessive drinking. Over two-thirds of U.S. adults are in this weight category. Sources: Cancer Epidemiology, CDC

The Modern Man’s Rulebook

By HughO’Neill

RocktheGym Rock-hard muscles—arms, shoulders, core—and heart-racing thrills make indoor rock climbing a worthy winter workout. By Lisa Jhung

32 | December 2016

Focus on Your Feet Rock climbing isn’t all upper-body work and pulling with your hands. Look down and not just up as you place your feet. Stand firmly on each placement while you scope out your next move. Push with your legs when possible.

Avoid the Death Grip Grab the plastic holds with the least force possible. Using a delicate grip preserves your endurance and keeps your arms from getting so “pumped”—that is, tight and swollen from overwork—that you just can’t grab another hold.

Stop and Loosen Pause often to shake out your arms (one at a time!) to let the blood circulate and relieve forearm burning. The arm you keep on the wall should stay straight to reduce fatigue. And while you’re at it, chalk up for a better grip.

Source: Mark Eller, former climbing guide and editor at Rock and Ice magazine

LearnCPRBetweenFlights A guy keels over—can you save him? According to the American Heart Association, seven in 10 people feel helpless to act on a victim of cardiac arrest, the cause of over 350,000 deaths a year. So learn CPR. New airport kiosks let you practice on a mannequin, get feedback, and take a test. Find them at Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, Baltimore-Washington, Indianapolis, and Chicago O’Hare. If you get good and feel heroic, download PulsePoint Respond; the free app alerts you if someone in walking distance needs CPR. Until then, call 911 and start compressions with the heel of your hand centered on the victim’s chest. Push hard and fast, 100 to 120 compressions a minute (to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive”).

F r o m t o p : Ty A l l i s o n /G e t t y I m a g e s , ST E V E S A N F O R D , J a n Wo l a k- D y s z y ń s k i /G e t t y I m a g e s

No.17/ Your Other Right to Remain Silent Far too often, people expect you to explain yourself. Why’d you pass on that offer? Or bet on the Raiders? If you’re so inclined, hey, have at it—share all your motives for moving to Vietnam. But if you’re a more private guy, don’t feel compelled to walk folks through your reasons for anything. Sometimes you don’t even know why you trust Plumber A or definitely don’t trust Doctor B. You have reasons you don’t yet understand, wolf-level instincts that kick in long before your much dumber brain shows up to the party. If total silence seems too cold, then go with a vague non-answer, something like “Feels right” or “Doesn’t work for me.” Both make you sound like a self-possessed guy who knows himself, trusts himself, and prefers not to be cross-examined if that’s all right with you.

Fall Intentionally Jittery? Do some test falls early on. When you’re roped up and on belay (held safely by a partner on the floor who’s got the rope), make a few moves up the wall and then fall back so the rope (and your belayer) stops you.

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SantaDelivers...Advice We asked two Santas—a professional Santa trainer and Bad Santa 2 star Billy Bob Thornton—for holiday survival tips. By Megan DiTrolio

GiftsThat KeepGiving Our favorite subscription boxes to ask for, and which one to get for her.



For this big guy, Susen Mesco is our spokesperson. As director of the Professional Santa Claus School in Denver, she’s trained thousands of Santas to work in malls and at events.

Thornton reprises his role as thief Willie T. Stokes in Bad Santa 2 (out November 23). “It’s funny because I’m exactly the opposite [of Stokes],” says Thornton, 61. “It’s my favorite time of year.”



H . A r m s t r o n g R o b e r t s /C l a s s i c S t o c k /G e t t y I m a g e s ( S a n t a ) , D i m e n s i o n F i l m s / E v e r e t t C o l l e c t i o n ( T h o r n t o n ) , B o x O u t G r o u p ( M H b o x ) , m l a d n 6 1 /G e t t y I m a g e s ( c a r t ) , P h o t o e v e n t /G e t t y I m a g e s ( t i e ) , f S t o p I m a g e s - C a r l S m i t h /G e t t y I m a g e s ( w o m a n ) , S d a r t /G e t t y I m a g e s ( o r n a m e n t s )


WHAT TO DO WHEN... Be direct. When Thornton’s then7-year-old son, Harry, asked for a golf cart, “I was like, ‘Dude, I can’t give you a golf cart for Christmas.’” Make sure the gift piles are equal. “If one of them has a smaller pile, you can never explain it away,” he says. “They don’t buy that.”

Never promise anything. Instead, mention a mystery present to excite the kids, saying something like, “Santa told me there’s already something really cool on the sleigh for you. So be very surprised when you see it.”

Your kid makes a big ask

Get an Amazon gift card. Or, you know, a gift from the heart. Mesco suggests homemade cookies. We’re guessing she means storebought cookies on a homey tray.

You forgot to buy your cousin a present

“If I get too far behind, I know at the end of the day I can get them a gift certificate.” His one no-go? “A tie. I just always think that when you get somebody a tie, that’s a sign of ‘I forgot your gift.’”

Fight back by dabbing some lavender oil on your wrists— Mesco’s Santas do this to stay relaxed during a long day with children, and research supports that it has calming benefits.

Aunt Carol stirs up drama

“Call a truce for Christmas. Any crap that you have to say about anything negative, save it until after Christmas,” says Thornton. “During the holiday, that’s the rule.”

Take the kids to visit Santa, of course! Mall madness not for you? Some sites offer Santa via Skype, so there’s no waiting in line with 100 antsy kids. That’s a tradition we can get behind.

You want to establish traditions

Be consistent. Thornton takes his daughter, Bella, on a tour of the lights. Gifts are always opened on Christmas morning. And there isn’t a kids’ table. “I say Christmas is for kids, so it should be their choice.”

Men’s Health Box, $90/quarterly “We aim to improve our readers’ lives. This does just that: high-tech fitness gear, and grooming products and accessories that get you noticed.” –Executive fashion director Brian Boyé BEST FOOD BOX

ButcherBox, $129/month “Why have 8 to 10 pounds of grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and exemplary pork shipped to your kitchen? How about less store time and more quality food.” –Food editor Paul Kita BEST FASHION BOX

Bombfell, from about $89/item “I like how it offers free style advice on everything from skin tone and body shape to budget and brands.” bombfell. com –Fashion director Sandra Nygaard BEST BOX FOR HER

Birchbox, $10/month “A handful of makeup, skin care, hair care, and fragrance samples that offer the joy of novelty without the aching wallet.” –Health editor Julie Stewart


Average dollar amount of men’s holiday expenses. Flip this magazine over to spend it right. Source: National Retail Federation

December 2016 | 33

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Why Every Man Needs a Grill Pan

Nutrition Know-It-All M I K E R O U S S E L L , PH.D.

Robust soy sauce pumps up the meaty beef flavor.

A Man, a Pan, a Plan

What You’ll Need 2 tsp olive oil 1 medium sweet potato, cut into fry-size wedges ½ lb tenderloin, cut into pieces



Grilled steak kebabs with sweet potato fries. Because nothing satisfies a guy like meat on a stick.

½ red bell pepper, sliced into bitesize pieces 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

How to Make It Halve two wood skewers and soak them in water. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a grill pan on medium high. Add the potatoes; cover and cook till just tender, 5 minutes. Skewer the beef and pepper pieces and brush the kebabs with 1 teaspoon oil; drizzle with soy sauce. Uncover the spuds and char them, turning now and then, 5 minutes. Push them to the edge; add the kebabs. Sear on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Feeds 2 Per serving 351 calories, 34g protein, 13g carbs (3g fiber), 17g fat

Does It Work? You know the drill: A late night becomes an early-morning convenience-store stop. Those hangover cures offer the promise of relief, but do they deliver? Yes: Fixes like Blowfish hangover tablets mix aspirin (to reduce inflammation caused by alcohol) and caffeine (to boost pain relief by constricting blood vessels). That should handle the headache. Then grab a jug of Gatorade to rehydrate and balance the electrolytes you lost to Johnny Walker. And buy a lottery ticket. It just might be your lucky day. 34 | December 2016

What’s this I’m hearing about whole milk being good for me after all? BILL, EAU CLAIRE, WI

Well, whole milk was never bad for you in the first place. Outdated science argued that milk’s fat would hurt your heart. Today, a whole new body of data is debunking that. The irony is that whole milk doesn’t have that much fat—it’s 96.75 percent fat free! Skim, 1%, 2%, and 3.25% (a.k.a. whole) all have their own flavor and mouthfeel. Drink what you like. Milk is loaded with nutrients like vitamin D, which most men need more of. What exactly does “moderation” mean, anyway? DON, JACKSONVILLE, FL

Not much. A 2016 study in the journal Appetite found that people say “moderate” in reference to what they eat or drink rather than how much they eat or drink. Moderation means different things to different people. So let me lay it out for you: Eat vegetables and protein at every meal. Eat treats once or twice a week. Drink less than four alcoholic beverages a week if you’re trying to lose weight. And remember to keep the libation count under six a week if you’re looking to reap the health benefits. Mike Roussell, Ph.D., is author of The Six Pillars of Nutrition and a nutrition advisor for Men’s Health.


F o o d s t y l i n g : M i c h e l l e G a t t o n /S t o c k l a n d M a r t e l ( s k e w e r ) ; i n s e t fo o d s , f r o m l e f t : M i c h a e l K r i n k e /G e t t y I m a g e s , i S t o c k p h o t o /G e t t y I m a g e s , S a l l y W i l l i a m s p h o t o g r a p h y /G e t t y I m a g e s ; c o u r t e s y M i k e R o u s s e l l ( R o u s s e l l ) ; ST E V E S A N F O R D ( i l l u s t r a t i o n ) ; M I TC H M A N D E L ( B l o w f i s h )

Nonstick pans are fine for eggs and leftovers. But you need heavierduty hardware to sear meats and vegetables at high temp. A castiron grill pan can take the heat—and bring on that smoky char. Pick up the Lodge 10.5-incher. $33,

S m a r t Wa t c h m a k i n g ™

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Collection available at ©2016 Timex Group USA, Inc. TIMEX, IQ+, INDIGLO, PERFECT DATE and SMART WATCHMAKING are trademarks of Timex Group B.V. and it subsidiaries.

This guy knew: It’s not how hard you hit; it’s how hard you can get hit and keep going.

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Survival Foods

Quick Change

We tasted new MREstyle kits to see if any befit a last meal.


My wife says my shirts are too big, but a smaller size hugs my gut. Who’s right? DENNY, BIRMINGHAM, AL


Let’s face it, these meals are nasty, with more chemicals than a Bonnaroo crowd. Wise Company meals were the least bad—many rated 5 out of 10. (Low bar.) But after sampling the Savory Stroganoff, one taster said, “I’d rather die in a zombie apocalypse.” Maybe hone your hunting skills. $125 for a 72-serving kit


The author of the new book Win at Losing explains how to turn today’s defeat into tomorrow’s victory. By Sam Weinman 1/ Do a Postmortem Did you fail, or just lose? One implies fault; the other may be beyond your control, says Jim Loehr of the Human Performance Institute. Be honest: Did you botch the presentation? Find the winning PowerPoint and compare it to yours. Did a better candidate land your promotion? Ask the boss what that person had that you didn’t.

2/ ID What Went Right In a famous study, Olympic bronze medalists looked happier than silver winners. Their gratitude was due to “counterfactual” thinking, or pondering what might have been. Claiming a small victory softens the blow and helps you identify successes to build on, says Loehr. Dream of a scenario that gives you hope and inspires you to work harder.

3/ Grow from It “No pain, no gain” is more than a cliché—it’s science! But science calls it “posttraumatic growth.” Consider the Columbia Lions’ 44 straight losses in the ’80s. That bred success off the gridiron for many players, says Matt Sodl, a defensive tackle who now manages a hedge fund. “It crafts how you think and analyze problems,” he says. Win at Losing is due out December 27.


Does reading about health studies make your head hurt? That’s okay—we’ll do the legwork so you don’t have to. Here’s your four-part cheat sheet.

Marijuana for Pain Medical marijuana might be better than opioids for chronic pain. In a University of Michigan study, pain patients under Dr. Weed’s care reported a 64 percent drop in opioid use. Bonus: Pot doesn’t cause constipation or deadly addiction.

Drinking with Partiers If you’re going out with hard-drinking types, be extra careful. You will underestimate how tipsy you are around your drunk friends, one study found. That’s a recipe for risky behavior. Make sure you assign a designated driver.

36 | December 2016

Apples for Garlic Breath You had garlicky shrimp scampi for lunch? Grab an apple—it can reduce the volatile compounds behind that pungent odor, the Journal of Food Science reports. Just half an apple is all it takes to go from beastly to fresh.

Hot Peppers for Weight Loss Capsaicins (compounds in peppers that bring the zing) can help you slim down, a study found. Capsaicinoids stimulate thermogenesis, during which your body heats up and burns calories. Aim for 2 teaspoons of hot sauce a day.

My face gets so dry in the winter, and my moisturizer doesn’t help. What can I do? BRETT, MINNEAPOLIS, MN

You might be surprised by my answer: oil. I know— we’ve been trained to rid our skin of excess oil. Now I’m telling you to put it back on. A slew of oils on the market are meant for men’s skin, and they’re easy to use. Apply a few drops to your fingers and massage it into your face before applying moisturizer. Try Jack Black Epic MP 10 Nourishing Oil ($32, or Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate ($46, kiehls. com). A drop or two also does double duty for dry elbows, flyaway hair, and as a preshave.  Brian Boyé is the executive fashion and grooming director of Men’s Health.

RYA N O . ( s u r v i v a l fo o d s ) , U n i t e d A r t i s t s / E v e r e t t C o l l e c t i o n ( R o c k y ) , M e r e d i t h J e n k s ( B o y é )

The top single meal (score: 6) was Patriot Pantry Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice. “Like chicken soup pudding,” one taster said. $30 for 24


You are, sort of. A shirt that’s taut across a belly is unflattering. Sizing up makes sense, but when it’s too loose, you end up looking bigger. You want a frame-skimming shirt— find a brand that offers a generous fit in your true size. For tees, go with Splendid, Nautica, or Gap. For dress shirts, opt for a classic fit over slim (try Van Heusen, Michael Kors, or Tommy Hilfiger). If you prefer untucked, try Untuckit. Its shirts have shorter tails that are meant to be worn out.



Useful Stuff

For Better Sex, Ask Her This “What would you say is the best sex we ever had?” WHEN TO ASK IT After sex. Studies show that the more time couples spend talking afterward, the more sexually satisfied they are, says Amanda Denes, Ph.D., a pillow-talk expert (yep) from UConn. Feeling safe and satisfied helps you both open up, Denes says. That’s because having an orgasm (she did, right?) floods the brain with the “cuddle hormone,” oxytocin, while levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, drop. And talk about an easy segue.

Male Confidential DEBBY HERBENICK, P H . D. , M . P. H .

A quick bedroom Q&A can lead to one heck of an O.

My girlfriend wants to get an IUD. Will this affect our sex life? ALLEN, AURORA, CO

Make a Healthy Donation These nonprofits aim to solve threats to men’s health—and they use their funds well. Colon Cancer Alliance This advocacy group promotes screening for colon cancer, funds research on the disease, and provides support for people who are affected by it. Its nationwide Undy Run/Walks help spread the word and encourage us to get off our butts.

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research The largest private funder of Parkinson’s research is helping scientists create a Listerine-type mouth strip to help patients quickly restore motor function when the effects of levodopa, a drug that treats the disease, wear off.

Sure: It’ll put your mind at ease. An IUD, or intrauterine device, is very effective and may be less likely than other forms of contraception to dampen her libido, research suggests. That said, possible side effects, like bleeding or cramping, could interfere with sex. And some people say they can feel the string that passes through the cervix and into the vagina; it’s rarely felt during intercourse but may be noticed during finger play. For extra pregnancy protection or to reduce the risk of STIs, use a condom too. Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., is director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University.

F r o m l e f t : B r a d l e y C . B o w e r / B l o o m b e r g /G e t t y I m a g e s , N a t a l i a M a n t i n i / t h e l i c e n s i n g p r o j e c t . c o m , c o u r t e s y D e b b y H e r b e n i c k

THE PAYOFF Sex talk will be easier from now on, says Sean Horan, Ph.D., a communication expert at Texas State University. Like any skill, it gets simpler with practice. That’s important because sexual communication is associated with sexual satisfaction and passion, according to a recent study in the Journal of Sex Research. The study also found that satisfied couples are more likely than dissatisfied ones to try the ideas they read in magazine articles. (Hint, hint.)

38 | December 2016


Let her know you’re trying and it’s about you, not her. Your game plan: Try it for a few moments at a time, between doing whatever else you two find pleasurable. Do this regularly and you’ll acquire the taste—or at least a tolerance. I once overcame an aversion to olives by eating one a day (chased by water or chocolate). Soon I loved olives so much that I ate 20 in one afternoon. Swap olives for vulvas and this is your jam.

WHY IT WORKS This simple query (make sure you answer it too) is a good window into your partner’s preferences. You’ll each learn or be reminded of what works. That’s what sexual communication is all about, says Denes—talking about what you like and how you like it. Coax out the details: the setting, timing, specific angles, positions, types of touch. It’s all valuable intel that’ll improve your sex life. And who knows? The nostalgia rush could lead to a reenactment.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Suicide rates are rising, so this group has a critical mission: research, advocacy, education, and screening for people at risk. New research to map the brains of people who’ve attempted suicide aims to develop better treatments.

I’m not really into giving oral, but my wife loves it. How can I enjoy it more?

Useful Stuff


Chisel Your Back At long lats! The key to a tapered torso. By BJ Gaddour, Men’s Health fitness director Strong lats make you look and lift like a superhero. PS: You might need new tees (with a giant S, to wear under your mild-mannered suits).


This joint-friendly move boosts shoulder mobility so you can safely lift overhead. Do It Hang from the parallel-grip handles of a pullup bar so your palms face each other. Pull your chest to the bar, keeping your body straight and rigid. Then slowly lower yourself. Do 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 reps.


Want to make a muscle grow? Stretch it out and put it under load. Here’s how. Do It Rest your upper back on a bench, hips up, feet flat, and knees bent. Cup a dumbbell over your chest. Slowly lower it behind you. Pause; pull it back up. Go for a minute. Add 5 to 10 seconds each session until you’re doing 2-minute sets.



Fix That Sore Throat

Mom’s way Gargle with saltwater Saltwater may kill infected cells in your throat, or it may just break up mucus like plain water does. But it helps, and there’s no risk. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water and gargle for 15 to 20 seconds at a time (and then spit) until it’s gone. Do this every two hours.

Wacky way Ear acupuncture This unique therapy can help in just 15 minutes, Air Force scientists say. It triggers a release of endorphins and natural opioids. Find a practitioner at and ask for the “battlefield auricular technique.”

Banana Pumpkin Protein Shake Spare your tastebuds the punishment of another noxious powder-and-water concoction. The pumpkin makes this a naturally sweet treat that’s rich in sight-saving vitamin A. What You’ll Need ¼ cup peanut butter 1 scoop (34g) vanilla whey protein powder ¼ cup canned pumpkin 1 medium banana, frozen ¾ cup milk

How to Make It Fill a blender with the ingredients in the order shown. Blend for 30 seconds, adding more milk if needed. Makes 2 servings Per serving 374 calories, 19g protein, 17g carbs (4g fiber), 20g fat Recipe by Shom Chowdhury, cofounder of Indie Fresh, New York City.

40 | December 2016

B E N G O L D S T E I N ( p u l l u p ) , g r o o m i n g : G i n a K a y O s b o r n e / Tr u e B e a u t y M a r k s ; A m y Lo m b a r d ( G a d d o u r ) ; ST E V E S A N F O R D ( i l l u s t r a t i o n s ) ; M I C H A E L B R A N D O N M Y E R S ( i c o n s ) ; S A M K A P L A N ( s h a k e ) , fo o d s t y l i n g : M i c h e l l e G a t t o n / S t o c k l a n d M a r t e l

A lat-strengthening finisher. Lean forward at the top (for muscle stretch); lean back at the bottom (for contraction). Do It Put your hands over the bar of a cable machine. Keep your arms straight as you pull down. Do 3 to 5 sets of 15 to 20 reps. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

©2016 glacéau. glacéau®, smartwater® and label are registered trademarks of glacéau.

va p or-di sti l l ed w a t e r, i ns pi red by the cl o u d s .

up up up

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Why Ladies Pick Guitar Players

The Cars’ Ric Ocasek married supermodel Paulina Porizkova in 1989. (Seriously!)

The secrets of rock-star mojo revealed! By Eric Spitznagel

42 | December 2016

“Females of many species—birds, frogs, whales— select the best male musicians as their mates.” “Females of many species, like birds, frogs, whales, or howler monkeys, select the best male musicians as their mates,” said evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, Ph.D., the coauthor of Mate: Become the Man Women Want. Great music, he told me, is made only by the healthiest, most energetic, most intelligent animals. “This has been true in our species for a long time— at least 30,000 years, judging from prehistoric bone flutes that have been unearthed.” To paraphrase what I think Miller was saying: On a basic level, Dave Grohl isn’t that different from a howler monkey. And 30,000 years ago, a guy who could play his bone flute, which I assume is not a euphemism, was a total catch. It makes sense in theory, but it doesn’t help those of us who don’t want to learn the guitar just to be more attractive. Few guys are as douchey

as the one who learns a few Beatles songs just to get laid. How do you create, as Maner put it, a “display of intelligence and creativity?” As a writer, my job involves being creative and at least attempting to be intelligent. If I want my wife to look at me the way she looks at Grohl, should I start typing in front of her? I gave it a shot and brought my laptop to bed. She looked at me as she might look at a person urinating on himself. “Why are you making that face?” “What face?” I asked. But I knew what she meant. I tried grimacing as I typed, the same way Grohl does when he hits an especially pleasurable lick. It didn’t translate. Anka Radakovich, author of The Wild Girls Club Part 2, gave me another explanation, one that proved more helpful. “While we watch him play his guitar, we are fantasizing that he is strumming our ‘clitar,’” she said. “Guitar players are notorious for being good with their fingers.” Ah, so there it is. Maybe it’s not the creativity or musical ability that equates with making pretty babies. Maybe, when women are being transfixed by guitarists, they’re just looking at the chord changes, if you know what I mean. Miller concurred when he explained all the traits that make guitar players sexy, including “the manual dexterity to master the fingerings.” Yes, of course. Master the fingerings. I’ll be bringing my laptop to bed tonight. And, I’ll be sure to emphasize elaborate keyboard strokes and dexterous touch typing. It probably won’t work. But I refuse to let Dave Grohl get all the glory.

F r o m l e f t : R y a n O . , R o n G a l e l l a / W i r e I m a g e /G e t t y I m a g e s

My wife and I have one of those sex freebie lists: five celebrities you’re allowed to sleep with should the opportunity arise, no repercussions. Yes, it’s stupid. But if you pay attention, it can offer a fascinating window into your partner’s tastes. For me, a potty-mouth comedian like Sarah Silverman or Amy Schumer gets my motor running. My wife’s list is entirely rock stars. Dave Grohl is on it. Twice. Once as a drummer, once as a guitarist. I’ll admit I feel threatened by the musician thing. I’ve often thought about how if I’d learned to play the guitar instead of wasting my time, I’d be making Jack White green by now. But the truth is I don’t have the talent—even playing air guitar. It’s hard not to think of my lack of guitar chops as an inadequacy. My wife insists it isn’t, but she also stops blinking whenever Dave Grohl is on TV. Women love guitar players. It’s scientifically proven. In a French study, 300 female college students were approached by an attractive stranger who said something like, “You’re very pretty. We should get a drink.” When the man was emptyhanded, only 14 percent responded favorably. But when he was carrying a guitar case, 31 percent not only stopped to talk but also gave him their phone number. So even the possibility that you’re a guitar god can give you an edge. I spoke to several psychologists, hoping for some insight into why playing or even just carrying a guitar makes a man more desirable. With few exceptions, most of them offered the same conclusion: Women love guitar players because they want to have their babies. “Guitar skill, like many forms of skilled expression, displays intelligence and creativity,” said Northwestern University psychology professor Jon Maner, Ph.D. “Mating with an intelligent and creative partner increases the likelihood of having intelligent and creative children, and this is good for one’s own reproductive success.” Reproductive success—two words you wouldn’t associate with sleeping with a rock star. Can you imagine any woman lying beneath Lyle Lovett, Ric Ocasek, or Tom Petty, and thinking, Woo-hoo, reproductive success!? (And yet Lovett briefly had Julia Roberts, and Ocasek has been married to Paulina Porizkova for 27 years.)



Ask your doctor if a medicine made by Gilead is right for you.

© 2015 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. UNBC1839 03/15

Fitness+Muscle Winterize Your Workouts

Where to Go Nordic Center at Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah You can ski 12 miles of trails 8,000 feet up the Wasatch Range.

Step outside your comfort zone to beat cabin fever and get fitter than ever. These three sports can take you there. By Doug Schnitzspahn

1/ NORDIC SKIING Don’t let the skinny skis or its image as an elite Olympic sport scare you away. You can learn to ski cross-country in an afternoon. Robert Peay, 45, of the nutrition bar company Probar, recalled feeling like a newborn giraffe the first time he stepped out on slippery, packed snow wearing a pair of Nordic skis. “It’s the most physically demanding activity I’ve

ever done,” he says. “It works your legs and arms. Your heart is pumping.” In summer, Peay joins his friends for mountain bike rides around his hometown of Park City, Utah. But come winter, his buddies ditch him and descend into the gym, while Peay simply switches his bike for Nordic skis and scores an even bigger cardio benefit.

To build your winter legs, see the workout on page 126.

December 2016 | 45




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Fischer CRS Skate They’re great for general fitness skiing and not too bad on your wallet. $250, 48 | December 2016

2/ TRAIL RUNNING Sure it’s cold, but winter can be the best time your workouts, change them up. “If you run to hone your form and extend your endurance. three days a week, vary your length and speed When Nathan Ansbaugh, 32, left Oregon each day,” says Alex Viada, c.s.c.s., co-owner for the long, stressful hours of an emergencyof Complete Human Performance, a training medicine residency in Minneapolis, he dedfacility in Durham, North Carolina. He suggests icated himself to hitting the trails no matter doing a day of intervals (10 fast quarter-mile what the weather. That might have seemed efforts, for example), a day of tempo work (run crazy considering Minnesota’s long, frigid for 30 minutes at a pace that’s too fast for you winters. But Ansbaugh began to carry on a conversation), exploring the snow-packed and a day of slower, longertrails around the Twin Citdistance running. GEAR UP! ies and developed a workout UPGRADE YOUR FOOTWEAR If routine that complemented you plan to challenge yourhis new life as a resident, his self on steep, icy runs, invest desire for athletic intensity, in winter trail running shoes and the reality of really bad with built-in traction spikes weather. The result? Introor specialized soles (see left). spective time that pays off But for most packed snow when summer arrives. and even untracked snow, Saucony Razor Ice+ “In winter I don’t focus on warm-season trail runners With their grippy soles— times and distances or pace work just fine. In fact, you perfect for snowy ascents— or intervals,” he says. “I run may want to stay away from these shoes are the snowcat three or four times a week shoes with waterproof or machines of the runningand think more about form. breathable membranes, shoe world. $180, Best of all, I can take time because any water that gets to explore,” says Ansbaugh. inside can’t escape. That “Your footprints are always there in the snow makes your feet soggy and causes blisters. to lead you back to the car.” DOUBLE YOUR WARMUP To avoid injury on cold To run snow-packed trails, you need more winter days, a proper warmup is critical. Ansbalance and improved fundamentals. baugh takes a lap or two in a jacket and then FINE-TUNE YOUR FORM Winter trail running sheds it after he’s primed. He braves the cold requires a careful foot strike to avoid falls. with a system of layers: tights, pants (fleeceConcentrate on landing on the balls of your feet lined for the truly frigid days), and a wicking to safeguard yourself on slippery winter trails. long-sleeved top. For milder temperatures, he “I slip if I’m heel striking,” says Ansbaugh. A brings a weather-resistant soft shell. He also shorter stride offers stability and distributes wears thick, wind-resistant gloves and keeps the impact more evenly. When it comes to a balaclava on hand so his nose won’t freeze.

S t e p h e n M a t e r a / Ta n d e m S t o c k ( p r e v i o u s ) , A d i e B u s h / C u l t u r a / A u r o r a P h o t o s ( t r a i l r u n n i n g )

Peay does a form of Nordic skiing called skate skiing, the kind you see in the Olympics. It makes use of shorter skis that allow the skier to push off to the side like ice skaters do. Poles are used for balance and propulsion. “Unlike on a bike, where only certain body parts are getting a workout, Nordic skiers need to use their whole body to propel forward,” Peay says. That can deliver a burn of 735 calories an hour. You’ll spend less time looking like a baby giraffe if you practice these drills. BALANCE YOUR POWER With your skis on, stand flat and shift your weight from side to side, your body going over each ski. Do this for two minutes. Then hop from side to side for two minutes. Do those drills often. “The concept of shifting your weight from ski to ski is critical in skating,” says U.S. Ski Team cross-country coach Chris Grover. The drills teach you how to balance on your skis, fully shift your weight over each ski, and distribute your weight evenly. That can help prevent problems like catching your inner edge and not having enough glide. BUILD YOUR STAMINA Once you’re ready, ski: Shift your weight directly over your right ski, dig its edge into the snow, and push off, your left ski gliding flat atop the snow. Push off with your poles too. As you begin to move forward, transfer your weight and repeat the motion with your left ski, your right ski on top of the snow. Keep going, pushing with one leg and gliding with the other. Dig your poles in after every other leg thrust. Aim to glide for a total of about two minutes on each leg.

Where to Go Golden Gate Canyon, Colorado About 30 miles from Denver, it’s a stunning 35-mile network of packed trails for all levels.




Fitness+Muscle Where to Go Crawford Notch State Park, New Hampshire It’s a beautiful section of the Appalachian Trail, without the crowds.

M i c h e l a n g e l o O p r a n d i /G e t t y I m a g e s (s n o w s h o e i n g)

3/ SNOWSHOEING Consider this a wilder, more adventurous version of hiking that enables you to truly take the path less traveled. Way up in the frozen New England woods, winter does nothing to slow down Al Sochard, 56, facilities director at Camp NewfoundOwatonna in Harrison, Maine. “We have five months of winter up here, so you either sit inside or find a way to get out,” says Sochard, who in summer is a dedicated ultrarunner and hiker. His winter workout: snowshoeing. The sport opens up an entire world of winter wilderness, putting you in the middle of a Robert Frost poem, says Sochard. The cold and snow won’t slow down your adventures. Plus, according to Sochard, snowshoeing is easy to learn. “It’s great for people who are uncoordinated,” he says. “Unlike with skiing, there isn’t a learning curve and you don’t have to worry about crashing into a tree.” But that doesn’t mean snowshoeing is for the uninspired: Sochard summited all 48 of

the 4,000-plus-foot New Hampshire peaks in a single winter. He also used snowshoes when he climbed Denali, the highest peak in North America. “Winter is my favorite time of year. I won’t stop or slow down,” says Sochard. “It’s a way to get exercise, sure. But it’s also a way to explore. I can look out and see someplace I want to go, and I go.” LEARN THE BASICS Generally, snowshoeing is no different than walking. In deeper snow and when you’re moving uphill or downhill, you want to take heavier, more confident steps. But be sure to test your footing first so the snow doesn’t colGEAR UP! lapse under your weight, even with the buoyancy the shoes provide. Bring a small backpack with plenty of water. SHOP SMART The tricky part is choosing the right equipment. Will you be using your snowshoes to hike? You may

“Few things are as rewarding as the glide I feel, like I’m in rhythm and balance and could go forever.” not want poles if you’re running at full speed on packed trails or logging roads, but a pair of poles can be your best friend when you’re trudging up steep hills in the backcountry. Poles can also add an element of upper-body conditioning to your workout. Trekking poles are best; just change out the standard baskets with larger snow baskets. Make sure you select snowshoes that can support your weight. The whole premise of snowshoeing is to distribute your mass so you don’t sink deeply into the snow. If you plan to tromp on mostly level ground, look for a pair of flat-terrain snowshoes, which are easy to get into and out of; their traction systems aren’t as aggressive as those on other types. If you’re hiking hills or steep trails, go with rolling- or mountain-terrain shoes, which have rugged bindings and sharp metal teeth for clawing into steep, icy hills. HEAD OUT AND EXPLORE Because snowshoeing is more about enjoying the calm serenity of the woods than jacking up your heart rate, you’ll want to dress heavier. Sochard likes to wear a light, wicking long-sleeved shirt under a non-insulated, weatherproof shell. Carry a headlamp if you plan to go out at night or are headed deep into the exposed backcountry. Take avalanche safety classes and bring the right equipment (shovel, transceiver, probe) before you venture into areas where snowslides are common. Unwitting snowshoers have been killed in avalanches, even on trails.

MSR EVO Snowshoes Tackle hills and varying snow conditions in these durable shoes. Optional 6-inch tails boost the weight limit from 180 to 250 pounds. $140, December 2016 | 49



Miller elevated his play by altering his routine.

Von Miller: Howan MVP Gets Better Last season, the Denver All-Pro made some changes to gain a step. They helped him win a title—and he swears by them now. By James Nosek Sharpen Your Speed Von Miller says he knew he’d have an edge if he could recover between plays faster and more fully than his opponent could. So he trained for cardio endurance: He’d do weight-based interval training in the morning and then run intervals on the field in the afternoon, or vice versa. Suddenly, in-game situations that used to leave Miller winded felt more like warmups. “The focus on cardio helped me extend myself,” he says. You probably don’t have time for two-a-days, so consider this challenge: At the end of your usual workout, row, run, or cycle as far as you can in 10 minutes, trying to go farther every time.

Eat Real Food During the regular season, Miller relied too much on supplements, favoring protein powders, bars, and drinks over regular meals. But in the playoffs, he not only emphasized lean protein but also began eating more real food. “I like putting premium fuel in my body,” he says. Quality fuel provides preworkout energy and also helps with recovery. He favors lean meats like chicken and fish, and he doesn’t have to give up on convenience: Miller now carries bags of his favorite jerky, Chef’s Cut, at all times and eats some vegetables raw, like green beans and broccoli. “It’s a healthy way for me to get my fix,” he says.

Make It Fun

54 | December 2016

Dustin Bradford/Get t y Images

In every practice, Miller tossed and caught 100 footballs. He won’t be moving to QB or receiver, but he says the routine is fun and helps him complete his game.Your move: Do your buddy’s favorite workout or round out your fitness with a physical activity that’s the opposite of what you’re doing now. For example, if you’re always pushing for strength PRs, add a day of yoga to your routine. If you’re already a yogi, try some heavy lifting.







If your body is a muscle car, glutes are your V8 engine.

The Strength Secret Most Men Ignore Your glutes are more than just a cushion for your desk chair. Learn to engage these sleeping giants for a fat-burning, head-to-toe power boost. By Kristen Dold

56 | December 2016

Corey Olson was just 27, but his 6'3", 250-pound body felt twice as old. His back hurt all the time, from the moment he woke up and headed to work. It hurt when he sat at his desk for eight hours straight every day, and after work when he’d step gingerly into the batter’s box at his weekly beer league softball games. Just looking at a barbell in the gym sent a shudder down his spine. Olson exercised regularly and played sports all the time, but his back pain was always there, to the point that he thought something might

be very wrong. Exasperated, he sought the advice of a trainer, who pointed out the problem: Olson had a weak ass. Olson isn’t alone. American men so commonly let their backsides slide that it’s even a syndrome: glute amnesia, when your butt muscles go to sleep and become weak. We can thank our sedentary lifestyle for letting our largest, most metabolically active muscles turn into pillow cushions. “No matter what sport or dayto-day activity you’re doing, good glute strength is crucial ` PH OTO G R A PH BY B EN G O L D ST EI N

Fitness+Muscle YOUR THREE GLUTE MUSCLES Gluteus Medius Gluteus Minimus These muscles assist the gluteus maximus when you raise your leg to the side. They also rotate your thigh outward when your leg is straight, and inward when your hip is bent. Key move: Bench side leg raise Gluteus Maximus It helps you hold your torso upright and straight. Key move: Single-leg hip raise

Avoid Injury Your butt consists of three distinct muscles—the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus—that attach your torso to your legs along a number of points, including the sacrum, pelvis, and femur. Your glutes make it possible for you to walk upright, move and swivel your hips every which way, and rotate your legs. “A weak butt puts more pressure on your lower back, knees, hamstrings, and hips, increasing the likelihood of a strain,” says Dr. Metzl. He sees many men in his office with conditions that can be chalked up to poor glute strength, especially lower back pain and Achilles tendinitis. 58 | December 2016

Have More Horsepower Pro sports scouts are ass men. That’s because a strong butt is critical to any exercise requiring speed and strength. Think of your backside like an engine, says Dr. Metzl. It powers you forward and helps you harness the force from other muscles for even more strength and speed. Doing your favorite activities on a weak, underdeveloped rear is like trying to run your car with a lawnmower engine. “Whether you’re lifting, jumping, sprinting, or shooting a basketball, your glutes are key to tapping into that explosive push-off strength that comes from extending your hips,” says Dr. Metzl. That power’s not just for smashing a tennis or golf ball, jumping for a rebound, or pulling a big deadlift; the extra juice can also give you more endurance for a hike or run or even when shoveling snow.

Supplement Your Training The number one mistake guys make is assuming that they’ve got their glutes covered by their favorite activity or through exercises like squats and lunges, says sports scientist Bret Contreras,

Ph.D., C.S.C.S. “To really improve your overall strength and performance, limit injury, and change the way you look in a pair of tight pants, you need to train your glutes directly and more often.” (To do that, see “Fire Up Your Hustle Muscles,” page 127.) Like Olson, Tyler Fiorillo, a 25-year-old law student in New York City, knows firsthand what working the glutes can do. When he added two targeted glute exercises—a hip thrust and a standing kickback using a resistance band—to his regularly scheduled leg presses, his performance exploded. “They were such small movements, but some months later I surpassed my squat and deadlift goals by about 50 pounds.” After Fiorillo restructured his program by adding glute exercises, he had to buy new drawstring shorts—he’d dropped 15 pounds. Your glutes are the largest muscles in your body, so working them has a huge calorie-burning benefit. “I hear it all the time from guys who start training their glutes—they get more compliments from women and feel better about their physique,” says Contreras.

The hip hinge, which is mainly controlled from your glutes, is involved in everything from jumping and deadlifting to driving a golf ball, says Bret Contreras, Ph.D., C.S.C.S. Here’s how it helps you generate power.

1/ Hinge As you draw your hips back, the muscles and tendons around your hamstrings and glutes activate and stretch. This creates what scientists call passive elastic tension, the same energy stored in a stretched rubber band. Really feel the stretch to load up power.

2/ Explode Snapping your hips forward draws on that tension and frees up energy, setting off a chain reaction that extends your hips. As you near the end of the extension, make sure you thrust fully forward. Doing that locks out your hips and makes your glutes fire even harder.

G r o o m i n g : G i n a K a y O s b o r n e / Tr u e B e a u t y M a r k s ; S C I E P R O ( a n a t o m i c a l i l l u s t r a t i o n ) , + I S M ( w o r k o u t i l l u s t r a t i o n s )

for endurance, power, and pain prevention,” says Jordan Metzl, M.D., a sports medicine physician in New York City. Four months after Olson started targeting his glutes, his back pain was virtually gone. “There were so many other positive cascade effects, too,” he says. “I was more flexible, my posture improved, and I had more muscle. Everything from walking up the stairs to playing softball felt better.”

Harness Your Power



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a little goodness is the way to greatness. well, unless you miss a turn. that might just lead to great-ish. still great, though.

A little goodness is the beginning of greatness. Whole nuts with real fruit and dark chocolate. Plus 100mg of naturally occurring cocoa flavanols—the good stuff in dark chocolate. And no, we didn’t just make that up. Check the Interwebs.


®/™ Trademarks © Mars, Incorporated 2016

Food+Nutrition Guy Gourmet

GREAT GREENS MADE EASY It’s delicious, massively healthy, and easy to cook. Swiss chard may be the best vegetable you’re not eating. By Chris Thompson Before you microwave another sad bag of peas, consider, if you will, humble chard. Swiss chard is a tall, sturdy, leafy green with fibrous stalks that come in a range of bright colors. Maybe the name sounds weird to you. It did to me. But I picked up a bundle at the store because like many men, I felt compelled to put something green next to my steak. Once I figured out how to cook the stuff, though, I didn’t even need the steak. If you know how to cook things, healthy eating almost always means better eating. Because chard is fairly kalelike, it is able to withstand slow cooking. Because it’s a hardy plant, it’s available for purchase and in decent shape whatever the season. And because it’s rich and tender with a less vegetal flavor than the other big leafy greens, it’s delicious in a lot of contexts where kale or collards would be overwhelming.


December 2016 | 61

Food + Nutrition

Once you know how to cook things, healthy eating almost always means better eating.

62 | December 2016


I say egg bake. Chard’s bitterness offsets the creamy eggs and sharp Italian cheese.

Why Are Dark Leafy Greens So Healthy? Chard, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collards—these are where nutrients go to party. All are rich in fiber. They also contain phytonutrients called carotenoids, which have been shown to prevent cancer by battling cell-damaging free radicals, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. We say eat two to four 2-cup servings a day.

F o o d s t y l i n g: M i c h e l l e G a t to n /S to c k l a n d M a r te l; J a m e s R a n s o m /O f f s e t (c u t t i n g)

Good food doesn’t get much simpler than this recipe. First, you’ll need a few things that aren’t chard: eggs, olive oil, and a hard Italian cheese, like Pecorino Romano. Feel free to use this project as an excuse to clean out your fridge and pantry too. Got half an onion left over from taco night? Great. Some lonely broccoli in the produce drawer? Perfect. And you’ll need some chard. Buy two big bundles. In the produce aisle, you can spot it among the other prehistoriclooking leafy greens by its pinkish red or sunny yellow stalks. At home, rinse the leaves and lay them on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to trim off some of each stalk because, although fiber is good for you and you may discover that the stalk is surprisingly tasty, it is undeniably the less delicious part. Now that you are a grownup, no one can make you eat the whole plant if you don’t want to. Trim the stalk by cutting a little V at the bottom of the leaf and removing the leaf from the bulkiest part of the stalk. This will ensure that you have some of that colorful, fibrous spine of the leaf, which will contribute to a bright, hearty dish. But don’t discard the separated sections of stalk; hang onto them for a few minutes. Take a big pot, add about an inch of water to it, and set it over high heat. It’ll boil real quick; now throw in all the chard pieces (including the stalks) and slap on the lid. You’re steaming the chard in order to soften it, and no part of the plant will benefit more from this softening than the stalks. Give it, say, eight or 10 minutes; then check on it. The leaves should have wilted significantly but not turned to mush. Pull the leafy sections out. As for the bare stalks, plan on giving them another five to seven minutes in the steam, or until they’re loose and floppy—kind of like very thick, colorful al dente pasta. Then cut the heat and pull everything out of the steam and back onto your cutting board to cool. While the chard is cooling, beat six eggs till frothy and grate a half cup of that hard Italian cheese; add it to the eggs. Next, take a bite of one of the cooked stalks. If it’s not too

fibrous for you and the texture is otherwise to your liking, keep the stalks and use them. If you like the idea of them but are concerned that 6-inch lengths of armored plant matter might be too much, maybe chop them down to bite-size pieces. Or if you’re grimly masticating and wondering when it’ll end, just toss the stalks in the garbage and move on. At this point you’ll need to grab a square baking dish and decide which leftover vegetables you want to add. Your eggand-chard bake will be delicious just as it is, but it will be even more amazing if you spend five minutes caramelizing some chopped taco-night onion with a bit of minced garlic. Toss that right into the dish. Or you could throw the florets of your forgotten broccoli back into that steam for a couple of minutes and then into the dish. Or strips of roasted bell pepper and maybe a pinch or two of red-pepper flakes could find their way on and around the chard. Or some crumbled bacon. Or hey, all of the above. Point is, once your baking dish is loaded to your satisfaction with chard and the other stuff you felt like throwing in there, pour the beaten eggs and cheese over everything and shake on some salt and pepper. Bake it in a 350°F oven until the eggs are set and the top is golden brown. This will take at least a half hour and maybe as long as an hour, but at this point your work is done. Check on it now and then and, once it’s cooked, haul it out of the oven and give it 10 minutes on the counter to cool before you dig in. That’s it. You may be skeptical that this fridge-scavenging could produce something worthwhile, but then you will take that first bite, and, whoa: delicious. It has most of what you enjoy about quiche—the fluffy, salty, rich, eggy flavor, the happy bits of treasure studded throughout. It’s packed with chard, so it will also be rich in fiber and nutrients, and there’s no crust, so it will fit whatever keto-gluten-free-Atkins-frankendiet happens to be sweeping the nation. Whichever way you make this dish, do it in private. When people try it, they will look at you with newfound respect. But if they knew how easy it was to make, the jig would be up.

My dad always believed in working hard and following your dream. His name was Josh and he was my hero. I made this wine in his honor. It’s big and vibrant but always approachable, like him. — Joseph Carr, Napa Valley Vintner & Son


Josh Carr, circa 1948

Please enjoy responsibly. ©2016 Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, Stamford, CT 06901.

Food + Nutrition

Bust Out of Your Nut Rut Life and sandwiches used to be simple: You had your creamy or chunky PB, and you had your jelly. But now, thanks to some great new nut butters, life is deliciously complicated. Valerie Berkowitz, R.D., of New York City’s Center for Balanced Health, suggests choosing a one- or twoingredient spread with less than 2 grams of sugar per serving. These three jars topped the crop.

Once Again Organic Cashew Butter

Justin's Classic Almond Butter

One taster commented that this stuff could stand in for dessert—and that’s saying something, since its sweetness comes naturally from nuts (and nuts only). Does organic really taste better? This jar scored a point higher than the company’s nonorganic cashew butter.

Some almond butters are cut with added sugar. This stuff has just 1 gram of natural sugar and no salt, leaving you with that mellow almond flavor. “If you want almonds, it’s just right,” one tester commented. Justin’s also sells squeeze packs to toss in your lunch bag.

PER 2 TBSP 180 calories, 5g protein, 8g carbohydrates (1g fiber, 0g sugar), 16g fat

PER 2 TBSP 190 calories, 7g protein, 6g carbohydrates (3g fiber, 1g sugar), 18g fat

Santa Cruz Organic Light Roasted PB (Crunchy) Most chunky peanut butters undersell on the chunky. This brand, however, studs every spoonful with a payload of coarsely chopped peanuts. It’s also barely salted, leaving the nuts free to unleash all their roasty-toasty flavor. PER 2 TBSP 210 calories, 7g protein, 6g carbohydrates (2g fiber, 1g sugar), 17g fat

What's Missing Inside the Jar? The fine print on some PB jars may get your nuts in a jumble. One reads “made with 60 percent peanuts.” What makes up the other 40 percent? Corn syrup solids, pea protein, and some delicious ferric orthophosphate, among other things. To reap the maximum heart-health benefits of peanuts’ monounsaturated fatty acids, always scan the ingredient list and make sure peanuts appear first and little else follows. 64 | December 2016

Sweet Swap, Smart Move

Welch’s Concord Grape Jelly Per Tbsp: 45 calories, 13g sugar

Crofter’s Premium Concord Grape Organic Per Tbsp: 30 calories, 8g sugar

Look, it’s jelly. It’s gonna have sugar. But if you spread sparingly, you’ll minimize the calorie load and actually taste the PB in your sandwich.


F o o d s t y l i n g : M i c h e l l e G a t t o n / S t o c k l a n d M a r t e l ( n u t b u t t e r s ) ; R YA N O . ( j e l l y ) , M I C H A E L B R A N D O N M Y E R S ( i c o n )

Cashew, almond, and peanut butters are loaded with heart-healthy good fats and hunger-crushing protein. We taste-tested 13 of the best. Grab a spoon.






“Guys typically don’t compliment each other. But when I have a buddy or somebody on my hockey team that says, ‘What are you doing? You look great,’ that’s the ultimate compliment to me.” Individual results will vary. Proper diet and exercise as described in the Metashred program are necessary to achieve these results.


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Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Customer satisfaction based on an independent study conducted by Alan Newman Research, 2015. GEICO is the second-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States according to the 2014 A.M. Best market share report, published April 2015. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. Š 2016 GEICO

Weight Loss EAT TO BEAT THE HOLIDAY SPREAD Even the ugliest sweater won’t be enough to distract from a season of diet disasters. Punch bowls filled with sugary booze, the comforting smell of cinnamon buns, those little weenies in pastry blankets—the holidays are filled with dozens of tiny temptations that, when piled together, can lead to big gains (the kind that lead to tight pants). This three-pronged survival plan will show you simple, easy-to-implement strategies for enjoying the holidays—without the New Year’s hangover.

No one ever touches the vegetable tray. That’s a good thing. It means more for you.


December 2016 | 67

Weight Loss

Dodge the Dangerous Foods Play Scrooge and avoid these indulgences. At the Office 1 slice pumpkin pie 323 cal, 46g carbs, 25g sugar

1 large brownie 227 cal, 36g carbs, 21g sugar

Handful of nonpareils 200 cal, 31g carbs, 26g sugar SAFER PICK Molasses or shortbread cookies. (One medium cookie has less than 65 calories and 3 grams of sugar. That’s not too awful, comparatively.)

At the Mall Cinnabon Caramel Pecanbon 1,080 cal, 146g carbs, 75g sugar

Auntie Anne’s Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel 470 cal, 84g carbs, 29g sugar

Starbucks Gingerbread Latte with whip (venti, whole milk) 450 cal, 50g carbs, 48g sugar SAFER PICK Black coffee...if

you need a pick-me-up. Otherwise, get out of the mall, fast.

1 slice yule log cake 450 cal, 58g carbs, 41g sugar

Entire roof section of a gingerbread house (unfrosted) 280 cal, 44g carbs, 12g sugar

4 oz summer sausage 380 cal, 0g carbs SAFER PICK Fruitcake. No, really. A slice has 139 calories and 12 grams of sugar. Plus, you’ll avoid the mystery meat in that sausage.

68 | December 2016

Look, it’s okay to let loose at a holiday event. Forget about counting calories. Just focus on a few simple changes to limit your intake so you don’t succumb to a festivity-induced food coma. By Megan DiTrolio




Kill the Buzz

Eat in Peace

Wine Less

We know the party is late, but don’t pound an energy drink. People in a Northern Kentucky University study who drank alcohol mixed with a caffeinated beverage had a greater desire to drink more alcohol than those who had a decaf cocktail. A Red Bull has 110 calories. A shot of liquor? About 100. You do the math.

People who ate while listening to loud noise consumed about 49 percent more food than those who were able to hear themselves chew, a Brigham Young study found. The researchers dubbed this the “crunch effect.” Apparently, the sound of chewing may help your brain identify how much you’re eating.

If you have the option at the party, choose a smaller wine glass. People who sipped wine out of a standard 300-milliliter glass were less likely to have another glass of vino than those who sipped the same amount of wine from a 370-milliliter glass, according to a new study in the journal BMC Public Health.

Food st yling: Eugene Jho/Plum Reps, prop st yling: M i c h e l e F a r o / B r y d g e s M a c k i n n e y ; H U B E R T T E R E S Z K I E W I C Z ( i c o n s)

As a Gift

Party Smart

Meat, eggs, seafood, and vegetables fill you up faster, so you’ll eat less. Cookies, though delicious, won’t do that.

Redefine Holiday Fitness

U w e U m s t ä t t e r / W e s t e n d 6 1/ O f f s e t ( p u s h u p )

Your usual workout won’t likely stave off the coming bloat. Adjust your approach with these strategies.



Nosh Away

Skip the Entrée

When you select your food, prioritize two key components: protein and fiber. The more of these nutrients you consume, the faster you’ll feel full, which will ultimately lead you to eat less overall. What that means at the buffet: Seek out shrimp cocktail, meatballs, vegetables, deviled eggs, or cold cuts like turkey and ham.

Don’t feel as if you have to eat both the appetizer and the main course. In fact, researchers at Drexel University found that people who ate a delicious appetizer rated their entrée as less enjoyable than people who had a mediocre appetizer. If you know you enjoy a particular app, put it on your plate and treat it like a meal.

TAKE THE LONG VIEW A single workout the day of your holiday party won’t do you as much good as a bunch of hard workouts in the weeks leading up to it. So train like you’re trying to win something: An athlete’s program is typically three intense weeks followed by an easier recovery week. During that fourth week, the focus is on resting and eating a bit more to adapt to the prior increase in activity. This is actually a great approach for the holidays, says Michael Blevins, a Salt Lake City trainer who prepared Henry Cavill to play Superman. “Use the first three weeks of December to work out harder than usual, and the last week, from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve, to recover,” he says. “That way the extra food and drink won’t disrupt your body composition all that much.” TRAIN WITH PURPOSE Before you dive in on December 1, set a performance goal, says Blevins. “That gives you more direction and motivates you to exercise harder,” he says. Over the course of the month, you could aim to drop your mile-run time, hit a cycling mileage distance, do more pullups, or strengthen your squat or bench press. Along the way you’ll see definite improve-

ments—you’ll run faster or lift heavier—which will make you eager to exercise again. GET AFTER IT Now work your ass off to reach your goal. For the first three weeks of your training, exercise as hard as you can three days a week, says Bobby Maximus, general manager of Gym Jones in Salt Lake City. If you’re chasing an endurance goal, bring your heart rate as high as you can sustain for the distance, or a rate at which you can’t talk while you’re training. If your goal is strength, use the heaviest weights you can while still completing your workout. “A good sign that you’re going hard enough is if you want to quit halfway through,” Maximus says. For two days a week, do workouts that are more relaxed and that improve your weaknesses and mobility. These help you dodge injury and recover quicker. FIND YOUR CREW Since you’re training like an athlete, you might as well connect with a team. December is when cyclists and triathletes are building a fitness base for the competitive season and CrossFitters are ramping up for the CrossFit Open. “Jumping in with any of those groups will ensure that you’re surrounded by people who don’t slack off,” says Blevins. December 2016 | 69

Weight Loss

Best Overall

Prairie Birra 4.5% ABV

This 150-calorie ale has a clean, refreshing taste; Engert compared the smell to “peppery spice and fresh-cut grass.” It has 40 to 50 more calories per bottle than a typical light beer would, but the flavor is so satisfying that you’ll only need one. Enjoy it with an equally light meal, such as a simple roasted chicken and sautéed spinach. Best 125-Calorie Beer

Allagash Little Brett 4.8% ABV Don’t close the bar: Over time, lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and increased alcohol use, studies show.

You don’t have to give up brews if you’re trying to watch your weight. And these days, you don’t have to settle for a traditional light beer either.

Beers to Your Health 70 | December 2016

Best Under 100 Calories

Jester King Le Petit Prince 2.8% ABV

“Tart, authoritative, smooth—this beer has everything,” said one tester. That’s huge, considering the fact that a 12-ounce bottle has a mere 81 calories. It’s dry, crisp, and a little sour (in a good way).

The brews shown above aren’t your only options. ChurchKey’s Greg Engert also likes De la Senne Taras Boulba (4.5% ABV), DC Brau Brau Pils (4.6%), Firestone Walker Pale 31 (4.9%), Founders All Day IPA (4.7%), Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca (4.8%), Mahr’s Bräu Leicht (2.8%), and Stillwater Yacht (4.2%).

P e a t h e g e e I n c / B l e n d I m a g e s L L C / G a l l e r y S t o c k ( b a r t e n d e r ) , R YA N O . ( b e e r s )

Drink the Beer, Lose the Gut

Yes, forsaking all beer is one way to eliminate extra calories from your diet. It’s also a great way to eliminate happiness from your life. In the dark days before craft beer, you might’ve held your nose and joylessly drained a can of Stale Ale. Now, mercifully, breweries are coming up with beers that not only block the bloat but also have a key trait that too many brews lack: flavor. These so-called “session beers” are perfect for guys who choose their drinks for the taste and not just the buzz. Because they have a lower percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV), session beers can have hundreds of calories less than some IPAs. We had Greg Engert of the D.C. craft beer destination ChurchKey pick his top 10. Then we tried ’em all. These are our favorites.

The backbone of this stuff is Brettanomyces yeast, which makes the hoppiness pop and carries what Engert dubs “earthy funk.” One taster described Little Brett as “fruity and ciderlike.” Bring it out with your leftover turkey—and leave the Beaujolais nouveau in the fridge.




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We started UNTUCKit DGECWUGYGJCFVTQWDNGƂPFKPI shirts that looked good untucked. +VoUCFGEGRVKXGN[FKHƂEWNVNQQMVQ get right. Shirts just aren’t designed that way. So we decided to make a better shirt for the untucked man. #ECUWCNUJKTVƂVHQTEQOHQTV PQVEQPXGPVKQPCPFFGUKIPGF to fall at the perfect length. Los Angeles • New York City Austin • Chicago

NEVER PAY FULL PRICE AGAIN Most big clothing discounts are hiding in plain sight. Do you know where to look? By Kristen Dold Mall parking, crowds, paying full price—screw all that. We prefer to shop online from the couch to explore a wider range of options and score with freaky-fast shipping. It’s no surprise that menswear was the fastest growing online retail category from 2010 to 2015, according to the research firm IbisWorld. What’s more, it’s estimated that a quarter of 2016’s online purchases will be made on smartphones. “Guys don’t just buy whatever’s on the rack anymore,” says retail expert Liz Dunn of Talmage Advisors. “They do research on the spot to find the best deal.” Now, traditional brands are competing with e-commerce startups. That means more perks—free shipping, price matching, referral deals, and discounts sent to your inbox. Your only job is knowing where to click. Start here.



Style + Grooming


Save $500 on a Single Outfit Paying full retail is for suckers. We stacked up discounts—available to anyone—and saved serious coin on this look. Use these online strategies to look your best for less. By Dan Michel

Tod’s sunglasses 275 $275

$99 Frank & Oak sweater

64% off at Gilt

$75 75


15% off for leaving items in your cart

Gap pants 65 $65


30% off plus free shipping code found by Honey browser plug-in (see “Coupon Codes” below)

Jack Spade bag 378 $378


Sleuth Smarts

74 | December 2016

15% off for joining mailing list

Mailing Lists

Rebate Sites


Flash Sales

Your inbox is full enough. But some retailers offer discounts of up to 20 percent, plus regular promotions after that, just for entering your email address. Had your fill? Use Unroll.Me to unsubscribe from mailers en masse. Or simply create a separate email account to use just for promotions.

If you go to a cashback site like Ebates before clicking through to a retail site, you’ll pocket a percentage of what you spent (in the form of a check or PayPal deposit). Or you can use a site like Jet, which offers discounts because it accepts debit cards only and its merchandise is nonreturnable.

Sometimes your fellow bargain hunters are the fastest way to a deal. Hit up sites like eBay to search for steeply discounted office wear and Grailed’s Hype for rare street wear pieces. Also visit Styleforum and the “frugal male fashion” section of Reddit, where guys share new deals and promo codes.

The best of these flash sites for guys is Gilt—for a day or two at a time, it sells high-end products such as watches, clothes, and small leather goods, with deep discounts. Other sites to bookmark immediately are Plndr and The RealReal for designer clothes, and The Clymb for cool outdoor gear.

Prop st yling (this page and opening page inset): Michele Faro/Br ydges Mackinney

Turn seconds of your time into dollars in your bank account.


Land’s End coat

$249 24


40% off, plus free shipping for signing up for the email list.

Nautica shirt


$98 98

10% off from RetailMeNot, plus free shipping for a $75+ order

Uniqlo belt

$20 20


50% off on clearance


How to Score In-Store Deals These tips can help you spot a steal in seconds.

Learn to Decode Any Label

Frye boots

Illustrations by BILL BROWN

$328 328


Email offer for 30% off final sale price

Coupon Codes

Price Comparison

Discount Alerts

Click Tricks

Ready to check out? Wait a sec. Do a quick search on RetailMeNot and CouponCabin for discount promo codes and perks like free shipping before buying. You can also install Honey (, a browser plug-in that’ll automatically search for and apply the best codes available at checkout.

Smart buyers know they need to shop around before committing. So use Google Shopping or browser extensions like PriceBlink to do the price comparisons for you. When you view an item, options from competing merchants will pop up alongside them so you can quickly locate the best deal.

Don’t waste time checking to see if that high-priced coat you love went on sale. Instead, sign up for Shoptagr, a browser extension that will send alerts when the price drops or the coat runs low in stock. If you’re an Amazon shopper, use CamelCamelCamel, which also tells you the best time to buy.

E-commerce algorithms adjust prices based on popularity or location, says David Bell, a marketing expert at the University of Pennsylvania. Delete your cookies or turn on private browsing to see if the price changes. Or leave items in your shopping cart and wait for a promo code email.


We’re used to seeing prices end in .99, but what does it mean when a 7, 4, or 1 is thrown into the mix? That’s an indication that the retailer wants you to know they’ve squeezed every last penny out of the price to bring you the best value possible, says Bell. So go ahead and splurge on it, but do it quickly. Odds are, limited quantities remain.

Shop Like a Woman Clothes from seasons past get a second life in discount stores that women have frequented for years. Guys are now catching on. “Traditionally female-oriented stores with marked-down prices, like T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and Nordstrom Rack, have great menswear deals too,” says Marshal Cohen, an industry analyst at the research firm NPD. Finer retailers, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Barneys New York, have their own “warehouse” stores where you can find huge markdowns on brand name items.

December 2016 | 75

Style + Grooming Keep a gray sport coat or navy blazer on hand so you’re always ready for an impromptu meeting.

Style 911

My Clothes Don’t Fit My New Job A slimmer physique and a new, more casual job rendered his old wardrobe obsolete. By Brian Boyé The Problem Grant Gillespie was in the best shape of his life when he interviewed for a business development gig at a Manhattan startup. But his confidence quickly faded when the interviewer noticed his outfit and told him to lose the jacket and tie. Gillespie, 31, got the nod, but he knew he’d have to change his look. His earlier jobs in branding at a gym chain and a media company left him with nothing but hoodies and ill-fitting suits. “I have baggy suits from one job and yoga pants from the other,” Gillespie says. It was time to upgrade.

The Solution Gillespie says his new boss usually wears jeans and a button-down to work, with the occasional sweater. But since Gillespie meets with outside clients, we needed to give him a look that worked equally well in a casual office and a more formal business setting. Dark denim with a patterned collared shirt strikes that balance. On their own they look fresh and creative; with a tie or a sport coat they dress right up. We also traded the traditional silk ties for less formal knit, wool, and cashmere.

The Goods S t y l i n g : B r i a n B o y é; g r o o m i n g : M a r c o C a s t r o / D e f a c t o I n c . ; H U B E R T T E R E S Z K I E W I C Z ( i c o n s)

For Gillespie’s new look, we turned to the Net-centric brand Bonobos. Its website features versatile options from fitness gear to tailored jackets. The shirt’s spread collar is dressy, but the floral print lends it a cool, casual vibe that departs from Gillespie’s preferred (and more conservative) checks or gingham. Fit was important; he was used to wearing a size larger than he needed. Finally, we added dark, slim-fit jeans and a blazer. This time we’re confident his boss won’t be telling him to lose it.

Bonobos blazer, $900; shirt, $98; tie, $68; jeans, $198; Crosby Square shoes, $345; L.L. Bean belt, $69

76 | December 2016





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Sex+Relationships Don’t just sit there and let her scamper into the surf. Do something!

WHEN I KNEW SHE WAS THE ONE Ever wonder how you’ll know? Six men reveal their moments. Compiled by Mike Darling In the movies, it’s epic when two people figure out they’re made for each other. There’s usually an airport gate involved, or a sudden downpour, or maybe a passionate monologue, music swelling in the background. But in real life? C’mon. There’s no script. The moment can be as subtle as a glance across a room or as frenzied as a cow chase in a cornfield. (Read on.) These six stories of sudden revelation underscore what really matters. They just might help you recognize that magic moment—and seize it.

December 2016 | 79

Sex + Relationships

When the Cows Got Out of the Barn We’re visiting her family farm in Rushville, Indiana, and all hell is breaking loose. It’s 3 a.m., lights are going on, Uncle Chuck is yelling, and the dogs are howling. Someone left the gate open to the dairy parlor and 150 cows have escaped into the cornfield. Now let me tell you, there are few things sexier than helping a woman milk a cow (something Heather had taught me to do that afternoon), but running through the corn at her side was the be-mine-forever clincher. Here was my Renaissance woman: smart, funny, and sexy in that all-American, all-natural, tanned-lacrosse-legs kind of way—but also spontaneous and enraptured by the silly joy of chasing Holsteins through the mud in the black of night. We’re still playing in the dirt 31 years later. —JON D., BOULDER, CO

When She Comforted My Father

80 | December 2016

When I was 13, I found an incredibly steep quarter-mile grass hill in a rough East Cleveland neighborhood. It was called, simply, “the hill.” For 11 years, it was the source of my speed and conditioning workout. I’d spend an hour sprinting up the hill and jogging down it. I always struggled to get people to run with me. Only three ever did—and Mary was one. She was cute, petite...and tough: She’d made it to the NCAA National Rugby Championship Tournament. At the base of the hill that day, I assumed I’d crush her. We accelerated into the first sprint. She stayed close and we jogged back down. Same thing the next round and the one after that. She was a champ while I was dying. We did 15 rounds, but for the first time I didn’t want to quit. —JOSH S., CLEVELAND, OH

When She Put Her Legs Up in the Air Erin is naked, she is in bed, and we have just made love. Her face is flushed. But her body position is less conventional, which perhaps partly explains the redness. Her legs and torso are high in the air. Anyone who’s ever tried to get a woman pregnant knows this position; it’s a gravity assist for the swimmers. I’d spent the previous couple of years trying to figure out if Erin truly wanted to get pregnant. She was in grad school and working on her first novel. A child wasn’t the only thing she wanted, or even the first thing. But seeing her lovely body in that curious position left no doubt that some part of her yearned for motherhood. Two days later I proposed. Later that week, she announced that she was pregnant with our first child. —STEVE A., BOSTON, MA

When She Showed Up to Bail Me Out We’d been married for three months, so yes, I’d already decided she was the one. But some of us don’t know with certainty until that first trial presents itself. Ours came one night in 1996 after a Jackopierce concert. My buddy drunkenly suggested we streak back to our downtown hotel. I handed my clothes to my new bride, and my friends and I busted cheeks

down the street. When my wife got to our hotel, she found me standing near its entrance, bathed in flashing lights, wearing only handcuffs. Someone had apparently taken offense and called the cops. My wife was not amused. But the next morning, there she was with bail. And what I’ll remember is this: She didn’t harangue or bitch or give me the silent treatment. She just shook her head and gave me a hug. I knew right then that we’d make it. That being my third arrest, I thought it best to leave behind my “life of crime.” She was—and still is—worth it. —TIM R., DALLAS, TX

A r t h u r B e l e b e a u / Tr u n k A r c h i v e ( o p e n e r ) , P h i l i p p N e m e n z / I m a g e S o u r c e / O f f s e t ( a b o v e )

On July 14, 2006, I took the witness stand in a hearing room in Philadelphia’s municipal court. Three teenagers were on trial for 13 kidnappings and robberies, and I was among their victims. As I looked out, I caught sight of my father and my girlfriend, K. It was only the second time they’d met. While I was on the stand, my kidnappers snickered. I eventually stepped down and back into the rest of my life. Over the next nine months, all three pleaded guilty. Later on, my dad told me a story. It was about a 20-year-old woman in a courtroom who quietly, without eye contact, took the worn left hand of a man she barely knew, held it, and squeezed. It was about a woman who calmed him when the boys who’d kidnapped his boy laughed. That’s when I knew. —BRADFORD P., DALLAS, TX

When She Kicked My Ass but Good

When fate smiles upon you and looks this good, smile back.


When She Helped Put Lucky Down When our friends set me and Diana up on a blind date, they figured we’d bond because of our pets. They were right. We’d take my elderly husky, Lucky, and her rambunctious chocolate Lab, Dylan, to the park, the beach, or each other’s apartments. A year passed. The relationship had substance in an easygoing sort of way. Then, boom: It wasn’t easy. Our dogs

were sick—Lucky with hip problems, Dylan with lymphoma. The truth is, it sucked. The truth is also that it showed me I had stumbled onto a partner with a big heart. Diana was there as we shoved pills down Lucky’s throat and carried him outside to pee. She was there during his final hours, holding his paw and my hand as the vet ended his misery. Any doubts I’d had about who would be the mother of my children left. Nine months later, as I stood beside Diana while Dylan’s battle with cancer ended, we were already married.

When She Knew Too “I took him to a Cardinals game, and he tolerated me heckling the pitcher. By the end of the game, he’d joined in.” —AMY G.

“He brought a piece of cake to his Nonna, who had Parkinson’s, and helped feed it to her.” —JENNIFER M.

“As he walked by, he gave me this huge smile—and ran smack into a wall. We laughed about it.” —DINA M.

“He got busted for peeing on a house, which I found hilarious. It wasn’t yet capital-L love, but it was the start of my crush.” —KIERA A.

“I told him I’d probably never marry him, and he didn’t kick me out. (I’ve been his wife for a year and haven’t looked back.)” —NAOMI P.

“One night in public, drunk, I pointed to my finger and yelled, ‘One carat! Round cut!’ He didn’t run; I knew he was the one.” —CHRISTINE M.

—PETER F., LOS ANGELES, CA December 2016 | 81



HOW ADHD MADE ME A BETTER CEO Knowing how to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can lead to uncommon success. By Brian Fiske Picture this: You’re in your early 20s and the travel company you started—and quit college to run— fails. So you start another company and sell it to Southwest Airlines for $129 million; your cut is more than $20 million. But you’re fired five months later. You then launch another airline—JetBlue. It’s a huge hit, but eventually you’re removed as CEO and leave the company. Your next move: Start another airline. Tired yet? This is the career flight path of David Neeleman, 57, who’s now CEO of Azul, a Brazilian airline with some 10,000 employees serving 24 million passengers a year, and co-owner of Portugal’s national air carrier, TAP Portugal.


This airline CEO is unfazed by the constant chaos of a bustling airport terminal.

December 2016 | 83


Neeleman is known for his entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and innovative nature (e-ticketing? That’s him). These qualities, he says, are influenced in part by his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—what we usually call ADHD. The same qualities also very likely played a role in his career lows, including his firing from Southwest and his departure from JetBlue. He says his ADHD is an advantage, so he doesn’t take medication for it. “It’s a gift to be able to look at the world differently,” says Neeleman, who was diagnosed at 34. “You have something special that others don’t.” What do the experts say? The answer is complicated. Try to pay attention, okay? ADHD symptoms typically appear in early childhood, as the brain grows. It’s a neurodevelopmental disorder; the brain’s development is delayed, so there are deficiencies in regions affecting focus and thinking. Behaviors linked to ADHD include impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and trouble paying attention, and roughly 9 percent of American kids have been diagnosed. About 60 percent of the time, these symptoms subside as the child grows. That could be due to the brain’s frontal lobes maturing or the child figuring out expected behavior. But the condition remains for 4.4 percent of U.S. adults; the majority are men. Maybe you’ve joked about your “ADHD” when you momentarily lost focus. This is more than that. An ADHD diagnosis means that the attributes and behaviors are severe enough to cause disruption in your life, says Craig Bruce Surman, M.D., scientific coordinator for the Adult ADHD Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. There are degrees of ADHD, from mild to severe. Experts look for ongoing impairment in two or more areas: home, work, and social life. You can be disorganized or impulsive, but if it isn’t causing harm, it isn’t ADHD. “People miss this all the time,” Dr. Surman says. Also overlooked are some devastating consequences of ADHD. People who lack attention and focus may be more prone to dangerous driving, dropping out of college, and losing jobs.

Hyperfocus, a hallmark of ADHD, has bolstered David Neeleman’s airline career.

There are relationship repercussions too. Studies show that people with ADHD are as likely to get married as those without it, but they’re more likely to divorce, says Frances Prevatt, Ph.D., of the Adult Learning and Evaluation Center at Florida State University. Despite the title of her book—Succeeding with Adult ADHD—the condition, she says, “is not an inherently good thing.” One aspect of ADHD may benefit the right person in the right situation: hyperfocus. Adults and children who have ADHD can struggle to focus on tasks that they find boring. However, if they’re given something they’re interested in, they’ll focus on it to the point of ignoring everything else around them. For hours on end. For far longer than most people would. That was Neeleman. His passions were airlines and launching new companies. “It’s all-consuming,” he says. “It’s why it’s hard for people with ADHD to focus on the mundane things in life, like paying the bills. Whatever your thing is, you think about it all the time.” It’s that kind of tunnel vision that helps a man start four successful airlines but not, say, finish reading a book that could have illuminated him about his condition. Nobody is saying Neeleman’s success is because of his ADHD—not even Neeleman. “Saying someone succeeds because of his or her ADHD is akin to saying someone succeeds because of cancer or diabetes,” says Prevatt. Neeleman’s ADHD affects his work habits and how he thinks about the business he loves, but he capitalizes on his strengths. That’s where the roughly 96 percent of adults who don’t have ADHD can learn. Neeleman, Prevatt, and Dr. Surman say that some of the strategies they use or recommend to minimize distractions and improve focus can work just as well for people without ADHD as they do for those with the condition. Here are the top seven.

1/ Manage the Mundane Use a to-do list to log the tasks you have to do, especially if you don’t want to do them. “Then say you aren’t going to go to bed until

you get them done,” Neeleman says. “You’ll get good at saying, ‘I have to get three items done today,’ and following through.”

2/ Recognize Your Impulses Ask why and when you’re exhibiting the impulsive behavior. Harnessing impulsiveness is easier if you know when it tends to be a problem. Plan ahead and ask yourself if the action will make you proud. Consider the people you’re accountable to—your kids, your team—and how the decision can affect them.

Certain careers are unattractive to adults who have ADHD. “You probably want a job involving high energy that will keep you moving and doing different kinds of things,” says Frances Prevatt, Ph.D., an ADHD expert. Consider these examples.

84 | December 2016

Carpentry or Trades Physical activity and problemsolving make these jobs engaging.

ER physician It’s a fastpaced environment with everchanging demands.

Management This is best only if you can rely on a trusty assistant to take care of the details for you.

Military The combination of demanding situations and a reliable routine can work well for your mind.

Sports Career The team camaraderie and high activity level involved in this arena are both pluses.

Sales It’s good especially if you’re making deals. Flip side: reports and presentations.


Where the Jobs Are


Is My Phone Giving Me ADHD?

3/ Keep Track of Time Set reminders. Your phone can be your personal assistant. If possible, integrate your work and personal calendar into one master calendar so you don’t focus on one while neglecting the other. In a recent study, Google Calendar and Evernote successfully helped adults with ADHD improve their attention span and organizational skills.

Illustration by K AGAN McLEOD

4/ Organize Your Stuff Have a place for everything. Sure, this may sound like simple advice, but it’s critically important. Your keys, wallet, and cellphone can go right into a bowl or basket by your front door. Bills and important mail can go in a specific box on your desk. “We give this advice to everybody,” Prevatt says, “because these are items people tend to lose.”

5/ Minimize Distractions Manage your “popcorn thoughts.” If random but seemingly important thoughts spring up while you’re working on another task, write them down and set a specific time to review them. If you create a routine for dealing with

these loose ends, “they just aren’t as loose anymore,” says Dr. Surman. “When they pop up, you can think, ‘Not now,’” and then deal with them at the appropriate time.

6/ Move to Stay Calm Don’t skip your workout. Exercise improves something psychologists call executive function, which influences organizational ability. “My patients tell me it makes the day go better,” says Dr. Surman. “It’s one of our top recommendations.” Research shows that aerobic exercise can reduce symptoms of ADHD in kids too. It’s certainly worth a try: Even a brisk walk before a mentally taxing task could help you concentrate.

7/ Find Your Fire Seek out work you love to do. “It isn’t hard to figure out; you’ll know what it is,” says Neeleman, whose passion for airlines has spanned more than three decades. “It’s easier to channel your energy into something you’re good at or love doing. Hopefully you can make it more than just a hobby. Follow your passion—and don’t give up.”

My 7-year-old daughter is reading to me before bedtime. I’m patiently listening, pitching in on tricky words and offering gentle encouragement—and, yeah, also browsing used cars on Craigslist. The kid is no fool: “Stop looking at your phone, Dad.” You can read Tolstoy on your phone, or call your mother. But you usually don’t. You look at stupid stuff, play stupid games, and take pictures of your stupid face. When boredom, frustration, or mere solitude settles over me, I feel the weight of the device in my pocket. The urge to look is a constant neural itch. The neurochemical pleasures of smartphone use—a habitforming flow of minor rewards and escapist nonsense—are similar to those of slot machines. Imagine being a compulsive gambler with a casino in your pocket. Research suggests that people with ADHD may have a higher risk of technological addictions, possibly because they use gadgets to quell their restlessness or because their impulse control is lower. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D., author of The Distraction Addiction, recommends a zenlike regimen of “contemplative computing” to unplug. Turn off nearly all notifications. Silence ringtones from nonessential callers. Install a meditation or mindfulness app, like Insight Timer, that reminds you to take breaks. Use software that locks out distracting sites or features. And force regular detox periods away from all screens to limit their mind-scattering effects. “You don’t just do it once and declare victory,” says Pang. “You need to do it repeatedly for your mind to really get used to it and benefit from it.” —David Dudley December 2016 | 85


Why You Cough

3/ Medullary Cough Center

Use our guide to send that nasty hack packing. By Julie Stewart When you catch a cold, the runny nose and sneezing subside after a few days. The coughing? It just keeps coming, like bad reality TV. The hack outlasts other symptoms in seven out of 10 cold sufferers, according to research by Peter Dicpinigaitis, M.D., of the Montefiore Cough Center. If you also have chest pain, fever, or blood, or if you’ve been coughing for two months or longer, see a doctor stat, Dr. Dicpinigaitis says. Otherwise, the barking is probably no big deal. And you can defeat it once you know how it works. “Coughing is a reflex, just like an itch,” he says. Here’s how to scratch it.



4/ Chest

1 2

1/ Windpipe and Lower Airway These passages are lined with sensitive receptors. Invading viruses irritate and inflame them, and the irritation can persist even after your immune system clears the infection. Head this off: In a study published in the journal Medicine, people who always washed their hands before eating, after using the toilet, and after coming home from community activities were able to significantly reduce their odds of coming down with the flu—a common cause of coughs.

Your cough center tells your chest muscles to tighten as you inhale air. The cough is coming! Your chest may push up phlegm, though most post-cold coughs are dry. Consistently hacking up slimy stuff could be a sign of bronchitis or a chronic condition called bronchiectasis, which can damage your airway. See a doctor if it persists.

5/ Mouth and Throat


2/ Vagus Nerve The irritated receptors in your windpipe and airway send signals to your brain through the fibers of this large nerve.


Your brain has a hacking HQ. It’s in your medulla, a region that coordinates involuntary actions. When the cough center receives a signal from the vagus nerve, the cough reflex kicks in. You could stop it with dextromethorphan, an over-the-counter cough suppressant that works by muting your cough center. You need at least 30 milligrams to do the trick, and many products are too weak, says Dr. Dicpinigaitis. And check for drug interactions: Dextromethorphan is dangerous when it’s taken with certain drugs, including some antidepressants.


You open your epiglottis (the windpipe’s entrance) and force air out your throat and mouth. The cough can irritate nerves in your throat, which may send signals through the vagus nerve to trigger the whole process again. To calm those cranky nerves, swallow a spoonful of something sticky and sweet, like honey. Or pop a cough drop with menthol, which may desensitize receptors in your throat. You can find the maximum dosage in Fisherman’s Friend Original Extra Strong lozenges.

MORE MEANING. MORE FULFILLMENT. MORE MONEY. Let’s be honest: Most of us aren’t exactly “special.” At best we’re underdogs fighting a system that stacks the odds against us. So how do we find a way to break free and achieve fulfillment and success on our terms? One way: We hustle. HUSTLE teaches you how to look at reality through a new lens—one based on fearless doing, demanding more (from ourselves and others), and never giving up on what’s important in our lives.




Cofounder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar

New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Entrepreneur and founder of Superpowered Inc.

Creative media consultant, producer, and writer for global startups and billiondollar companies

Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler are three marketing experts and entrepreneurs who have used their own success and experiences to help more than 100 startups and businesses gain more revenue, grow their customer base, and achieve better overall success.

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Your doctor isn’t the only one in the office. Here’s how to use the rest of the team. By Kristen Dold You know your doctor—the only person aside from your partner who gets to palm your balls. But what about all those other people walking around in white coats and scrubs? As primary-care physicians become more scarce (there may be about 20,000 fewer in 2020 than in 2010), you can expect more one-on-one time with health professionals who don’t have full-on M.D. degrees. In fact, many ailments don’t require an M.D.’s attention. “We’re finding ways to diffuse the doctor’s expertise and knowledge across a broader team,” says Matthew Bernard, M.D., Mayo Clinic’s chair of family medicine. Use our scouting report to get out the door faster and healthier.

1/ Registered Nurse (R.N.) There’s more to nursing than pumping a blood pressure cuff. A registered nurse can provide you with info about your medications, coordinate care between your family doctor and any specialists, and coach you through a diet and exercise plan if you’ve received a diagnosis of hypertension or diabetes, says Mary Jo Assi, D.N.P., R.N., of the American Nurses Association. EDUCATION Associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. BEST FOR Cramping stomach? Can’t remember how to use your inhaler? Call the office and ask for the R.N. Most likely you’ll hear back within a couple of hours.

88 | December 2016

2/ Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) An osteopath is a fully licensed physician—a legitimate medical doctor. However, his or her training is more holistic and includes osteopathic manipulative treatment, which uses muscle and joint movement to relieve such problems as headaches and back pain. EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree plus four years of medical school and a residency. BEST FOR If you’re looking for a broader approach to your care. Osteopathic physicians review all the factors that influence your health—diet, activities, lifestyle, sleep habits, and what you do for a living—to personalize your care.

3/ Physician Assistant (PA) Don’t let the word “assistant” fool you; PAs handle nearly anything you’d see a doctor for. They can examine you and diagnose your problem, order tests, and prescribe meds. Studies show that patients receive a similar quality of care whether they see a PA or a medical doctor. The PA works under an M.D.’s supervision and consults with the boss on complex cases. EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree plus a master’s degree from a PA program with clinical rotations. BEST FOR Fast help. PAs’ schedules are more likely to allow for last-minute patients, says Patricia Dieter, M.P.A., PA-C, division chief of Duke University’s PA program.


6 4



4/ Medical Assistant It’s not the most glamorous work— disposing of the wax that just got extracted from your ear, for instance—but medical assistants are valuable. They log your medical history, take vitals, send that abnormal mole for testing, set up appointments, and more. EDUCATION A medical assistant credentialing program, which is not mandatory; medical assistants are not licensed. BEST FOR Chatting up. Ask how your blood pressure has changed since your last visit. Feeling nervous about an upcoming procedure? A medical assistant can run through each step with you (and hand you water if you get woozy).

5/ Medical Insurance Specialist Of course you understand health insurance. And you can fly a 747 too! Tap the expertise of an insurance specialist to break down your benefits, verify your eligibility for procedures, and keep track of what you owe (and don’t owe). EDUCATION Often a certificate in medical coding or medical billing (but it’s not mandatory). BEST FOR Fighting the good fight with your insurance company when a claim is denied. Insurance specialists are fluent in medical coding and terminology, so they can steer you and your doc toward the requirements needed to secure coverage in your plan.

6/ Nurse Practitioner (NP) Much like a physician assistant, an NP can diagnose and treat anything from bronchitis to diabetes, send you for testing, and write scrips. The main difference between the two is in the training: Nurse practitioners graduated from nursing school with a focus on patient and preventive care, while PA programs focus on disease diagnosis and treatment. EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in nursing, plus a master’s or doctoral degree. BEST FOR Making healthy changes. An NP can coach you through weight loss and spell out what you need to do to head off heart problems down the road.

Finally, a Peek at Your Own Medical File Remember that invitation to your health network’s online patient portal? (The one with your deleted emails?) Accept it. Through this electronic gateway, you can view your records and lab results, request prescription refills, make payments, book appointments, and ask those embarrassing questions— confidentially. Look for a feature called OpenNotes, which lets you read what your doctor (or nurse practitioner or physician assistant) was typing. These notes can help you recall the topics discussed during your visit and help you provide accurate information to a new doctor or specialist. OpenNotes has been shown to bolster the doctor-patient relationship. It’s part of a movement that encourages transparency and ownership of your health info, says Jennifer Wolff, Ph.D., a health policy expert at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The program keeps your data private, but consider sharing your log-in info with a family member or spouse— the first person you would rely on to remind you to take your medication. —MEGAN DiTROLIO




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imgcredi t _ A LL _C RED I T_GU T T ER - lef t

F R O M T H E E D I T O R S O F M E N ’ S H E A LT H

imgcredi t _ A LL _C RED I T_GU T T ER - r ight

As we look back on 2016, it’s tempting to dwell on the negatives. It was a year of record heat, Zika, terror attacks, and an election cycle we’d all like to forget. But there were high points. Like, um...let’s see. Cleveland was able to cheer. Some guys on the Olympic team weren’t questioned by the police. That was cool. And, well...Bruce went on tour and killed it. So we have that. But if we were to give the year a hashtag, it’d be either #savage or #thestruggleisreal, because it’s been both. But then we’d stop thinking about hashtags, because we’re adults with jobs who shouldn’t be spending so much time on social media. Here’s what we were left with. We’re really looking forward to 2017.

Worst Health Scourge In the year when Zika and ineffective flu vaccines grabbed headlines, it was deaths from opioids that blew up alarmingly. Unintentional injuries (about a third of which are poisonings, including drug overdoses) are now the top cause of death in men ages 25 to 44. Some guys are hooked on heroin, others on oxycodone. The scariest part? Doctors are still doling out plenty of the latter.

Most Exciting New Health Trend More and more lives are being saved with cancer immunotherapy. These treatments use your T-cells to attack cancer, just like they fight invading viruses. The American Society of Clinical Oncology, getting a jump on awards season, named immunotherapy its Advance of the Year. We agree— and in our September issue, we featured

three guys who beat cancer thanks to this thrilling new weapon.

Best Food Trend Longtime MH readers know we’ve been complaining for decades about deceptive food packaging. (Remember our futile search for the Keebler elves? They’re a big lie.) Well, finally the FDA has responded with food labels to make things clearer for consumers. The useless “calories from fat” language is gone. Serving sizes now actually make sense. And a new “added sugars” category will appear— much to the horror of Birthday Cake Oreos.

Best Comeback, Gym Equipment No, not the shake weight. (But hang on to yours, just in case.) We’re talking about fan-based cardio machines, which have been around for decades but became the biggest “new” thing in fitness in 2016, thanks in part to CrossFit. Because of the exponential nature of air resistance provided by the fan, these machines have a unique ability to kick your butt. The harder you row or pedal, the harder the machine pushes back at you, like a vindictive boss. Try this quick-andhellish workout: Hop on a fan bike, set its computer to count calories, and incinerate as many as you can in 60 seconds.

Worst Blow to Manliness We’re all for dabbing a little BB cream (“blemish balm” or tinted moisturizer) under our eyes to hide dark cir-

cles or a hangover. But we draw the line at mascara, powder bronzer, and glossy nails and lips—all concepts that somehow became acceptable in men’s grooming in 2016. Unless you’re a glam rocker or a drag queen, leave the heavy-handed makeup to Jared Leto.

Most Miraculous Sex Surgery Thomas Manning, a 64-year-old from Massachusetts, became the first U.S. man to receive a penis transplant. The original was lost to cancer in 2012, but after a 15-hour surgery (at an estimated cost of $50K to $75K; the surgeons worked for free), he now has a



BEST HEALTH BREAKTHROUGH Pharmacogenomics! (Break it down, sound it out.) Here’s the deal: Soon your doctor may be able to check your genes to see how you’ll respond to meds, and then tweak the dosage accordingly. The Mayo Clinic is trying it in people with prostate cancer and coronary artery disease.




R a y Ta n g / R E X / S h u t t e r s t o c k ( A s s a n g e ) ; G E T T Y I M A G E S : D D i p a s u p i l / F i l m M a g i c ( W e i n e r ) , J o h n L a m p a r s k i / W i r e I m a g e ( A i l e s ) , H a r r y H o w ( L o c h t e ) , J o n K o p a l o f f/ F i l m M a g i c (J o n e s), J e s s i c a K o u r ko u n i s (C h r i s t i e) , C h r i s G o o d n e y/ B l o o m b e r g (B r e s c h) , R i m g l o w (b a n a n a), P e t e r Z i j l s t r a (m e a t) , B a b u r S a g l a m ( g u n ) , m o t t t i v e ( c a r t o o n f a c e s ) , D a r i o L o P r e s t i ( d o u g h n u t ) , l c s 8 13 ( b l a n k i P h o n e ) , Y v d a v y d / G e t t y I m a g e s ( f r i e s ) , A m y K e r k / i S t o c k ( E p i P e n )

Worst Sexting Trend

second chance at urinating while standing and maybe (maybe!) having sex someday. Manning’s doctors are “cautiously optimistic.”

Lamest New Sex Product Deodorant for smelly scrotums. Yep: Fresh Balls, Dry Goods, and Comfy Boys are designed to mask the toxic ecosystem allegedly thriving in your pants. These are not your father’s or grandfather’s testicle deodorants. That’s because your father and grandfather didn’t use testicle deodorant. Don’t believe us? Ask them. And take a video of their reaction for us.

Dirty Emojis HD on Android and Sexymojis on iOS. We already know, thanks to a Match survey from early 2015, that singles who regularly use emojis are more likely to have had sex in the previous year. Now they have a wider range of explicit emojis to express their dirty thoughts. If the thought you’re thinking of texting can only be conveyed via a yellowball face with a realistic vagina, then maybe you should keep that thought to yourself.

Bromance of the Year Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. We’re not saying these guys spend their weekends shirtless on a horse, whispering things to each other like, “I’m nefarious? No, dude, you’re nefarious.” But really, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to picture it.




A MORTIFYING UPDATE FOR 2016. GOOD GOD, PEOPLE! 1/ Anthony Weiner: Lust Seriously? You had one job, man. One job! Stop sexting! How hard is that? Nobody wants pictures of your junk! (And no, “How hard is that?” is not an invitation.) Heed the old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, take away this jackass’s phone.” One more thing: Next “comeback,” maybe don’t invite a camera crew. 2/ Chris Christie: Gluttony During a campaign stop, the New Jersey governor told an Omaha fifth grader that crappy school lunches are just fine, adding “I don’t care what you’re eating.” Tater tots and processed cheese soup: helping to build tomorrow’s Chris Christies. 3/ Heather Bresch: Greed The CEO of the pharmaceutical giant Mylan—which brought in $9.45 billion in revenue in 2015—helped jack up the price of the lifesaving EpiPen, a 400 percent increase since 2008. It’s great news for kids with peanut allergies who didn’t want their stupid college savings anyway.

4/ Ryan Lochte: Pride It’s not just that the Olympic champion lied about being held at gunpoint after he and his buddies vandalized a Rio gas station. It’s that he was so sure he could get away with it. 5/ Internet Trolls: Envy These guys harassed Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones for having the audacity to be a successful, funny black woman who’s done more with her life than they could ever dream of. Back to the basement, anonymous losers. 6/ Roger Ailes: Sloth Among the many accounts of sexual harassment by this former Fox News CEO was his Jabba-like move of reclining on a couch and exposing his genitals, which his female target described as resembling “red...raw hamburger.” 7/ WikiLeaks: Wrath In its oh-sorighteous campaign for transparency, some of its data dumps included medical files and financial records of hundreds of innocent people. Makes us nostalgic for the days of shredders. December 2016 | 93

WORST FOOD TREND Hybrid fast foods! We’re talking mac and cheese with a Cheetos dusting, chicken fries, Whopperritos, grilled-cheese stuffed-crust pizza— the drive-thru horror has reached gut-defying proportions. Once novelty items, these caloric catastrophes are now mainstream.

The Great “Unfriending” of the Election Year

Least Convincing Argument for Why 2016 Sucked

If there’s one thing the two sides could never agree on this year, it was which presidential nominee was more evil. Whether you were pro-Donald or proHillary, you lost a few Facebook friends in the carnage.

It was a big year for celebrity deaths, for sure. Muhammad Ali, Prince, David Bowie, Arnold Palmer, Garry Shandling, Merle Haggard, and Gene Wilder...and even Abe Vigoda, who’s been erroneously reported as dead every year since 1982, actually died this time, at 94. But the deaths weren’t 2016’s fault. People die and will continue to die every year; some will be famous. Except Dick Van Dyke. He’ll outlive us all.

Most Surprising Comeback O.J. Simpson. A documentary and a 10part docudrama for a trial that ended two decades ago? Did the glove fit this time?

Least Surprising Comeback Biggest Loser weight. Several former contestants on the NBC reality show gained back some or all of the weight they’d lost on the show, and a few of them even packed on a fresh new layer of flab. So this is how we find out that reality television isn’t real?

media, we learned a lot this year about famous penises that we didn’t actually want to know. Did Adolf Hitler have a micropenis? We don’t remember asking, but the Internet was abuzz this year with questions and theories about der Führer’s penile situation.

Most Surprising Surplus

Weirdest Trend: Male Genital Oversharing Whether it was Donald Trump’s tiny, incomplete manhood on life-size nude statues, or celebrities like Usher and NBA All-Star Draymond Green “accidentally” posting photos of their schlongs on social

U.S. dairies have truckloads of cheese and no buyers, thanks to European competitors and a strong dollar. But the USDA has invested in the cheese surplus, spending $20 million for about 11 million pounds. What will our scrupulously thrifty government do with it? Our guess: The new $20 bill won’t just have a new face on it, it’ll now be printed on a tasty new material.

Best Excuse for Public Nudity When Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said in a speech that his citizens should “get undressed and work,” it was probably a slip of the tongue. (“Get undressed” sounds very similar to “develop themselves” in Russian.) But the people of Belarus took their leader at his word, creating the hashtag #getnakedandgotowork and posting nude photos of themselves (with their naughty bits cleverly concealed) on Instagram.


1/ Zika the STD The CDC confirmed that the Zika virus is sexually transmittable. And not by having unprotected sex with mosquitoes. We’re talking about relations between consenting humans without stingers. Congratulations on becoming the STD we can’t believe we have to worry about now.

3/ The Chicken McGriddle This fried chicken patty sandwiched between two syrupinfused pancake buns was test-marketed in central Ohio. For breakfast. It could be worse, right? It could’ve been a bag of white flour poured directly into your mouth, followed by a punch to the kidneys.

2/ Toxic Water Remember when bad water was just a Flint, Michigan, problem? From the sewage-filled bays of Rio’s Olympics (and its green diving pool) to the lead-laced liquid turning up in schools from Ohio to Oregon, it was a year when soda could be sold with the tagline “Probably safer than what’s in your faucet.”

4/ Pokémon GO While in pursuit of invisible characters on their not-so-smartphone, players have fallen into ditches, gone temporarily blind, plowed their cars into pedestrians, stampeded in mobs through city streets, and even died. It’s like a zombie apocalypse, but way more personally embarrassing.

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G E T T Y I M AG E S: D u tc h S c e n e r y (w a s te d r u m), a n d r i a n o _ c z (Z i k a), B r o zo v a (b r o w n w a te r), I n h a u s c r e a t i v e (zo m b i e), P a k p h o to (m a s k), M a r i o 9 0 0 (P o ké B a l l), C a t h e r i n e L a n e / i S to c k (P o ké m o n)


But Maybe It’s Better to Keep Those Pants On This summer we got not one but two pop-up naked restaurants, in London— where the waiting list topped 46,000 eager nudists—and Melbourne, Australia. The waitstaff were minimally covered. Imagine the specials: Rump roast? Braised cheeks? All of it nutfree, we trust.

Science Finds a Way for Us to BodyShame Ourselves For just $699, the soon-to-be-released Naked 3D Fitness Tracker will assess your naked form and tell you exactly how you’re not desirable. First it takes a full-body scan, including the humiliating parts you don’t see in your bathroom mirror. It’s the perfect gift for anybody who needs reminding that they’re going to die alone and unloved.

BEST STYLE FOR SLOBS Geezer We Have Sympathy for Hugh Hefner, 90, sold the Playboy Mansion to the billionaire owner of Hostess, on the condition that he can live there until he dies. A man who used to be the most envied bachelor in the world is now no different from the college dropout who crashes in his parents’ basement (if that dropout paid his parents a million dollars a year in rent money).

Geezer of the Year

Most Intriguing Escape Plans for the Human Race

Mick Jagger, at an exceptionally craggy 73, is not only dating a 29-year-old ballerina (born around the time everybody was saying this Rolling Stone was too old to be a rockand-roll star anymore) but also announced that he and his youngenough-to-be-hisgranddaughter girlfriend are expecting a child, Sir Mick’s eighth kid. This could be the last time, we don’t know.

President Obama called for a publicprivate mission to Mars, leaving in, oh, 2030 or so. But we’re eyeing a rocky, Earth-size planet, possibly with an atmosphere and water, that was discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star (besides the sun). It’s a mere 4.2 light years away, or just 25 trillion miles. So if we leave now and don’t make any bathroom stops...

P H O T O - I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y S E A N M c C A B E

Least Convincing Argument for Safe Sex

Definitive Proof That Sometimes Ignorance Is Bliss A former photo retoucher for Victoria’s Secret revealed that so much of the catalog is Photoshopped that models began arriving at their shoots with “hairy armpits” and “stubbly pubes.”

Most Convincing Cautionary Tale About Unsafe Sex Charlie Sheen. News of the actor’s HIV-positive status inspired a huge surge in HIV-related Web searches—including a 417 percent increase on the day of his disclosure to the press, according to researchers from San Diego State University.

Those “Feel the Burn?” billboards in L.A. to promote testing for sexually transmitted diseases. They were clever, sure. But some of us don’t want to be reminded of a 75-yearold Brooklyn socialist when considering our sexual health.

Best Reasons to Spend Nearly a Year in Space It’s a growing experience. Like Scott Kelly, you could be 1.5 inches taller in orbit; the lack of gravity helps to stretch the spine. Better yet, you would be 8.6 milliseconds younger than you were back on planet Earth.

Kit and Ace washable cashmere and Levi’s dirt-resistant Commuter jeans. The mostly rayon sweater (11 percent cashmere) can be machine washed and tumble dried without shrinking into a bib. The jeans’ water-resistant coating repels rain, red wine, and eggplant parm like a force field.

Worst Reasons to Spend an Entire Year in Space Brittle bones, weak muscles, puffy “moon face,” and drinking your own recycled piss and sweat—almost 200 gallons, according to NASA. Oh, and you also get to collect your own poop in space for research. Fun!

Best Excuse for Being Late Bruce Springsteen, who broke the fourhour mark in some shows, helped fourthgrader Xabi Glovsky with a personalized note for his teacher. “Xabi has been out very late rocking & rolling,” the note read. “Please excuse him if he is tardy.”

Worst Excuse for Being Late When Lauryn Hill was more than two hours late to her own concert in Atlanta, she turned to Facebook to lamely attempt to explain her tardiness. She claimed she was “aligning my energy with the time.” What the hell does that even mean? And will our boss buy it? At least when Spinal Tap was late to a gig, it was because of drugs and groupies.

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Guaranteed Way to Get Laid in 2016 Scoring tickets to Hamilton.

Best Wager We Wish We’d Made Guaranteed Way to Get Into a Loud Argument About Sexual Consent With Your Wife Scoring tickets to a Cosby stand-up show.


Worst Indignities Endured by Lab Rats In their selfless pursuit of knowledge to help us make health-

Leicester City, the Bad News Bears of European soccer, were given 5,000-to-1 odds of becoming Premier League champions, and then they went and won it all anyway. The only other 5,000to-1 odds made by the same oddsmaker went to Kim Kardashian becoming president in 2020. Gentlemen, place your bets!

K i r b y L e e / U S A To d a y S p o r t s ( D ’ A g o s t i n o ) ; G E T T Y I M A G E S : P a u l M o r i g i ( O b a m a ) , J o e R o b b i n s ( R u d o l p h ) , S k i p O ’ D o n n e l l (m o n e y a n d p i l l s) , M i c h a e l C h e n (t o r t o i s e) , P r o s a d o (d e b t p i l l ) , M i k e C o p p o l a (O l i v e r) , _ b a _ (s t e t h o s c o p e) , D i m i t r i s S t e p h a n i d e s (a p p l e) , F l y f l o o r (f i t n e s s i t e m s)


ier decisions, they: breathed polluted Beijing air and got fat because of it; were exposed to radio cellphone radiation; got stoned and then accused of being lazy; and took anti-anxiety medicine, which made them less empathetic to other rats’ problems.

WE STILL FOUND INSPIRATION IN THIS DOWNER OF A YEAR. 1/ Michelle Obama We’re still in denial that this was her last year as First Lady. During her time in D.C., she was not only a huge proponent of fitness and nutrition for kids but also had the most jacked arms in White House history. (Still does, of course.) It’s about time we had a leader with tickets to the gun show.

3/ Travis Rudolph While visiting a middle school with his teammates, the Florida State wide receiver saw an autistic kid sitting by himself at lunch and decided to sit down and 96 | December 2016

4/ Abbey D’Agostino After the Olympic distance runner from Topsfield, Massachusetts, collided with a New Zealand competitor during a 5,000-meter run, she paused to help her fallen rival to her feet, yelling, “Get up, get up! We have to finish this!” D’Agostino crossed the finish line with a torn ACL, but in our book she’s an Olympic champion. 5/ Diego A 100-year-old tortoise on one of the Galapagos Islands had so much sex that he saved his own species from extinction. He’s the proud papa of an estimated 800; 40 percent of these have been released to the wild. Coming soon, Diego’s dating self-help book: “Unless You’d Rather Go Extinct,” and Other Brilliant Pickup Lines.

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2/ John Oliver The host of HBO’s satirical news show Last Week Tonight created a fake debt-collection company and bought $15 million in medical debt from nearly 9,000 people in Texas. The punch line: Oliver forgave it all. Every last cent of debt. It was, says Oliver, “the largest one-time giveaway in television show history.” Sorry, Oprah. Leave it to a British comedian to show us what true generosity looks like.

join him. A photo of the unlikely pair went viral online, showing that small gestures can make a big difference. Since his date with Rudolph, the kid has eaten lunch “at a table full of girls,” according to his mother.

BEING HOT CAN MAKE YOU CRANKY Researchers at Brandeis University found that when temperatures become too warm, it “reduces emotional wellbeing.” We’re looking forward to the followup: When it gets cold, people wear coats.

J a c k s o n L e e / S p l a s h N e w s ( K a r d a s h i a n ) , W e s t e n d 6 1/ G e t t y I m a g e s ( h a n d s t a n d ) , S e r g e H o e l t s c h i / 13 P h o t o / R e d u x ( S p i d e r - M a n ) , B e n n y a r t i s t / S h u t t e r s t o c k ( t o r n p a p e r )

Most Shocking Reiteration of the Obvious Asked if there was any link between football-related head trauma and neurodegenerative diseases like CTE, Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president for health and safety, said: “The answer to that question is certainly yes.”

Least Surprising Backpedaling from the Obvious The NFL released a statement just hours after Miller’s admission, claiming that “a lot more questions need to be answered.” Hey, NFL, pro tip: Maybe it’s not the best idea to be stealing corporate denial tactics from the Philip Morris playbook.


Proof That Legal Weed’s a Good Idea Country legend Willie Nelson is launching his own cannabis brand, Willie’s Reserve. Can’t wait for the “We will sell no weed before its time” commercials starring the red-headed stranger.

Proof That Legal Weed Might Be Terrible After All A 53-year-old dad in Omaha stumbled upon pot brownies made by his adult children, ate four of them, and ended up calling the family cat a “bitch.”

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HOTTEST SEX TREND The #freethenipple campaign! Launched in 2012 to promote the Equal Rights Amendment, it really perked up in 2016, with Kim Kardashian and Rihanna flaunting their areolas and New Hampshire voting against a bill banning female nipple exposure. Gender equality never looked so good.

Walking on your hands! Why? Beyond impressing Instagram followers, it doesn’t offer much. Exercise physiologist Pat Davidson, Ph.D., says it can injure shoulders, has very little muscle-building or fat-burning benefit, and won’t make you better at anything other than handstand walking.

Best Sign We May Not Be Entirely Screwing Up Boys Disney princesses may not be the best role models for girls, but a BYU study found that for boys, they provide “a needed counterbalance to the hyper-masculine superhero media.”

But Girls? Yeah, We’re Still Messing With Their Heads Discovery Girls, a magazine for preteens, ran a story titled “What Swimsuit Best Suits You?” Readers, some as young as 8, were asked to assess their bodies: Were they “curvy on top,” “straight up and down,” or “rounder in the middle?” A little young for that. It’s just like that episode of Sesame Street where Big Bird told kids about the letter P, for “Would it kill you to lose a few pounds?”

Best Example of How Technology May Save Us All Stan Larkin, a 25-yearold Michigan man, lived for 17 months without a heart. As he waited for a transplant, his artificial heart was powered by a portable driver in a backpack.

Never Mind, Technology Will Destroy Us One-fifth of genetics research papers were incorrectly autocorrected by Microsoft Excel, which confused gene labels with dates and random digits. And you thought your phone’s autocorrect was annoying.

YOU’LL LIVE LONGER IF YOU DON’T EAT CRAP People who eat a balanced diet will likely live longer, say researchers at Tokyo’s National Center for Global Health and Medicine. So much for the “just eat a lot of junk food and hope for the best” diet plan. SKIPPING SECURITY MAKES YOU HAPPY Two-thirds of business travelers surveyed who used TSA’s PreCheck at the airport said they were satisfied. Apparently the other 34 percent felt neglected that strangers weren’t looking through their medicine. PLAYING TETRIS LEADS TO LESS FUN British and Australian researchers have discovered that just three minutes of playing the tile-matching puzzle can reduce urges for drugs, sex, alcohol, food, and other things that all the cool kids are doing. SPIDER-MAN DOES NOT EXIST A human would need about 40 percent of his body to be covered in sticky footpads, or “impossibly big feet,” to be able to climb a wall like Spider-Man. So say scientists at the University of Cambridge.


t the u o h t i w sique in y h p r e l l i a k skin back elong fitness. d n a h t l r hea s? Get some e pillars of livfen a l l e t s t n Wa ch workout th these fiv s by Ture Lillegra ar e game wi .S. | Photograph m d e c r o f th fernan, C.S.C By Andre

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This is the scene at the recent Oklahoma City finals of American Ninja Warrior, and Jon “Rockman” Stewart is tackling Bungee Road, an obstacle that has humbled several competitors half his age. The wiry 145-pounder hurls himself into empty air, floats, locks onto the beam, swings a few times, and dismounts. The crowd cheers and whistles. The eye-popping move secures the Utah-based construction manager a trip to the show’s national finals. Stewart comes by his fitness naturally. “I got my core strength from working our family farm as a kid in Idaho,” he says. His ripped upper body and never-quit legs were forged from 20 years of scrambling up rock faces and frequent, rigorous mountain-bike outings. In other words, Stewart sculpted his incredible physique and athleticism by following his bliss. He’s not alone. “People are coming at fitness from all these different angles now,” says Daniel Kunitz, the author of Lift, a book on fitness history. Online videos have led to an exciting cross-pollination among fitness tribes. CrossFitters are doing parkour and MMA; distance runners and triathletes are trying Olympic lifting. This newly omnivorous approach to staying in shape highlights an element that’s often missing from exercise programs. In the pursuit of ripped abs and flagstone pecs, many of us have lost sight of that most essential property of physical recreation—fun. Maybe it’s time for you to find a plan that can give you the body you want without it feeling like forced labor. A plan that’s both engaging and effective, a challenge for your brain and biceps alike. Submitted for your approval: the new pillars of lifelong fitness.

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Forty years ago, during the Pumping Iron era, fitness was defined by how you looked in a Speedo. If you didn’t have softball biceps and single-digit body fat, you had no business calling yourself fit. Today, says Kunitz, “most guys realize that getting super jacked and lean is difficult to do and takes years.” A recent NCAA analysis found that single-digit body fat is rare, even among elite athletes in their prime. For example: The average body fat percentage for running backs at the NFL Combine from 2006 to 2013 was nearly 12 percent. Indeed, extreme leanness and muscularity—the kind you see in supplement ads—is not only an unrealistic goal for most busy guys but also unnecessary for athleticism. Stop staring in the mirror and focus on performance instead. Work on nailing your first pullup, then your first five. Try cracking 21 minutes in a 5K, then 19. Conquer a 5.2 rock face, then a 5.3.

Train for Performance Consider the fitness journey of Scott Ferrara, 42, a teacher in Los Angeles. “In my 20s, my goal was to be as big as possible. I was in pain. I was eating 10 chicken breasts a day. It wasn’t enjoyable.” Ferrara eventually switched gears. He completed an Olympic-distance triathlon and then participated in numerous obstacle course races on the West Coast. Now that he’s more concerned about his finishing times than his arm circumference, he’s respecting his limits. “I check in to see what my body needs on a given day,” he says. Ironically, Ferrara says he looks better now than he did when he was pumping iron—a common result of switching to performance training. “Aesthetics are best obtained from training for performance,” says Mark Rippetoe, the author of Starting Strength. “Form follows function.”

Some fitness hucksters believe that certain approaches work because they resemble the activities of our forefathers. Nonsense, says Daniel Lieberman, Ph.D., a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard. “Prescribing fitness and diet regimens based solely on what our ancestors did is rife with logical problems...We also evolved to sometimes fight, lie, get anxious, age, and die.” In fact, science suggests that you can get healthier, stronger, and fitter by following any plan regularly. The CDC recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, along with twice-weekly muscle strengthening sessions. It’s not a high bar, but 76 percent of men don’t reach it, the CDC reports. That’s despite the fact that “moderate exercise” covers a broad array of activities, from jogging and yoga to martial arts and rock climbing. It even includes some activities many jocks might consider too easy. “Brisk walking on its own is great for health,” says David Katz, M.D., Ph.D., director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center. The best exercise, he says, is the exercise people actually do.

Seek Simplicity and Proximity The simplest rule: do something every day. That’s not easy. For documentary filmmaker George Kunhardt, 29, that lesson came a bit later in life. “I was an athlete in high school, but when I got to college I partied a lot.” By the time he started his career, his weight was normal but his body was soft. That’s when Kunhardt discovered a CrossFit gym near his office. The key variables to its appeal were proximity and simplicity: He could walk there and do the workout that was posted on the blackboard. Now Kunhardt trains six days a week; his body is harder and he can bang out sets of 40 unbroken pullups. He’s rediscovered both his competitive fire and his love of fitness. “It’s my number one stress reliever. When I’m at the gym, I go to my happy place,” he says. So if you simply do anything active for 30 to 45 minutes a day, says Dr. Katz, your health will benefit. You will also likely enhance your quality of life and longevity. Of course, strategically varying the intensity of your activity will impact your results. That’s why we have Pillar 3.

To a strength coach, exercise and training are as different as chalk and cheese. “Exercise is something you do today because of how it makes you feel today,” says Rippetoe. “Training is a planned process to achieve a result somewhere down the road.” Most gymgoers are exercisers, says Rippetoe. They might hit chest and tris on Monday, run a few miles on Tuesday, and shoot hoops on Thursday. Each workout bears little relation to the one before or after it, so their progress is minimal. Yes, it’s infinitely better than nothing at all. But to improve your performance at a particular activity, you need to program a performance increase for that activity consistently. “I don’t want my muscles to be confused,” he says. “I want them to know exactly how I want them to adapt.”

Set Multiple Goals

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Not sure where to focus your fitness efforts? The following standards from the Cooper Institute show how you stack up against men your age on four key measures of fitness. If you hit the 95th percentile on any test, you can consider yourself elite in that category. If you’re in the 80th, you’re fit. Fall below 50th? That’s a weak point. You’ll need to focus your efforts on improving that area of fitness.

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An effective exercise routine is shaped by specific goals—short-term as well as long-term—toward which every workout is a distinct stepping-stone. That often requires taking the long view. “Let’s say you want to run a 10K. You might have five obstacles you need to overcome before you can complete that goal,” says Alex Viada, C.S.C.S., of Complete Human Performance in Durham, North Carolina. You may need to address your mobility or body composition before you can start thinking about your running pace. But even if you have a long way to go, Viada says, just ask yourself what you can do now to bring each goal a little closer and make the big goal easier. Then get to work on that—consistently—one workout at a time.

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Here’s the curveball: To make that progress, you need to take strategic recovery breaks. “A lot of activities that we think are helpful are not,” says Andreo Spina, D.O., a chiropractor and mobility expert. Among these are some of our favorite pastimes. When major league baseball coaches and trainers ask him how to prevent elbow injuries in their pitchers, Spina tells them, only half jokingly, “Have them play another position.” From baseball and basketball to swimming and track-and-field events, sports are “man-made” activities, Spina argues. Many of them place asymmetrical demands on the body. Tennis and squash, for example, tax one arm and shoulder while leaving the other mostly out of the action. Swimming works your upper body more than your lower, while running and cycling do the opposite. The potential damage isn’t limited to knees and ankles. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology revealed that the heart valves of lifelong runners showed elevated risk of failure.


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“If you’re a runner, you might plan a block where you do hills, another where you do speed or track work, and another where you work on endurance,” says Matt Dixon, a former pro triathlete and the founder of “Even that simple change of stimulus will yield bigger results than just working randomly,” he says. Reams of research have shown that one approach worth most guys’ time is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. This involves multiple short bursts of superintense exercise (like eight rounds of 30-second bike sprints) separated by periods of low-intensity movement or rest (like 90 seconds of easy spinning). HIIT has many proven advantages over steady-state cardio. The workouts are short and adaptable, challenging both your aerobic and CONTINUED ON P. 129

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Having a high vertical jump indicates that your type II muscles are in working order.

Sure, sports belong in your training program, but focusing on a single sport or activity—year-round, with no time to heal and rebalance—might hurt you. For most of us, the ideal strategy is a three-weeks-on, one-week-off plan. For three weeks, gradually increase your workload at your activity of choice. Do more sets, reps, and weight if you’re into strength training; more distance or speed if you’re a cyclist or runner; more height, speed, or difficulty if you’re a climber. Then ease off for a week and come back to focus on a slightly different microgoal.

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Like you needed a reason to eat this stuff. Research suggests that garlic or onions may help your body absorb zinc and iron from grains; the benefit may extend to meat, which is loaded with these minerals. Zinc may bolster immunity, and iron is crucial for muscle performance. To cook ’em, add the garlic and onions to a cold pan with some oil; then turn on the heat. That way the garlic is less likely to burn. MUSCLE BOOSTER



Think of kefir as a tart, bubbly yogurt. If that sounds offputting, taste and learn: Dump a slug into your next shake to give your gut a batch of beneficial probiotics. (We like Lifeway Organic Kefir.) While you’re at it, add a handful of hearthealthy almonds. Preliminary findings suggest that the fiber in almond skins may act as a prebiotic. And prebiotics are known to feed probiotics, found in kefir. Both can keep your gut in balance so your body can fend off illness-causing bugs. IMMUNITY DEFENDER

After years of research, new nutritional science is seeing the value in an old piece of advice: Don’t mess with Mother Nature. Take vitamin E, found in spinach, almonds, and broccoli. If you consume these and other E-rich foods regularly, you’re likely protecting your eyes and preventing cognitive problems. But what if you’re not eating enough healthy foods? Enter

the supplement companies. Pop your vitamin E in pill form and you’ll reap the rewards without having to masticate spinach, right? There’s one problem: New research shows that vitamin E, when isolated, may not have the same protective power. One recent study suggests that supplementing with E long-term can actually increase your risk of one type of stroke. And it’s not just E.

Experts are now questioning supplements like selenium, green tea extract, and fish oil. There are smarter and tastier ways to make sure you get the nutrition you need. Certain foods gain superpowers when paired. Adding olive oil to tomatoes, for example, helps your body absorb the tomatoes’ antioxidants. “Our bodies are incredibly complex engines, and at the


cellular level they require a complex fueling strategy to run best,” says MH nutrition advisor Mike Roussell, Ph.D. “A variety of whole, healthy foods seems to provide the best benefits.” Curious? Discover the power of real food in the book Eat for Extraordinary Health & Healing, published by MH parent company Rodale Inc. And try these six power combinations. December 2016 | 105


Citrus zest: lime, lemon, grapefruit, orange


Steamed seafood, pasta with olive oil, stir-fry

Fresh herbs: basil, thyme, chives, parsley

Roasted chicken, broiled fish, roasted vegetables

Sprouts: broccoli, mung bean

Turkey sandwiches, salads

Thinly sliced hot peppers

Omelets, soups, chili



Fat has benefits. Men in a Purdue study who ate a salad with three eggs took in nine times more carotenoids— antioxidants that can help your eyes—than those who didn’t have the eggs. A diet high in carotenoid-rich produce, like spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes, may reduce heart disease and some cancer risk. You need fat to take in these compounds; that’s where yolks come in. Don’t want eggs at every meal? Olive oil, avocado, and nuts may work too. EYE SAVER



Food st yling: V ictoria Granof/C ornelia Adams; prop st yling: Ayesha Patel

Toppings can topple an otherwise healthy meal (example: greens smothered in ranch dressing). Turn to these add-ons for more taste without the caloric load.



Give sweet some heat. Researchers in India discovered that capsaicin, an ingredient in cayenne, increased absorption of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which your body can convert into sight-saving vitamin A. (It was a rodent study, but still.) Capsaicin is also the compound that lights the fire in hot peppers. For a new twist on a baked sweet potato, dust it with cayenne, squeeze on some lime juice, and top it with fresh cilantro. EYE SAVER December 2016 | 107


When you grill meat, potentially carcinogenic compounds called HCAs form in the muscle. Too much char and you may increase your cancer risk. Limit your exposure by adding rosemary to your marinade. Its antioxidants may prevent HCAs from building, a Kansas State study found. No need to get fancy; just mix the juice of one lemon, a glug of olive oil, the leaves from a sprig or two of rosemary, salt, and pepper. Use on two chicken breasts. CANCER FIGHTER

Some consumable combos spark trouble, with effects that can leave you with a food hangover. Avoid these three dastardly duos.

Wings + Beer

White Bread + Jelly

Lentils + Red Wine

High-fat meals and alcohol just don’t mix. Your liver processes both fat and booze but tackles the alcohol first because it labels it a toxin. So the excess fat hangs out in your blood and can then settle in fat tissue. Plus, the fat slows digestion, leaving you feeling bloated and lethargic long after you’ve left the sports bar.

Eating a pair of simple carbs taxes your pancreas. First your blood sugar skyrockets, forcing your pancreas to secrete a high dose of insulin to recalibrate. Next you suffer the crash from that sugar high, and you’re likely to end up exhausted and irritable. Instead, turn to the high fiber in whole grain bread and fruit.

When the compounds that give red wine its tartness, called tannins, mingle with the iron in foods like lentils, your body’s ability to absorb iron can be compromised. Vegetarian? Well, your body has a harder time absorbing iron from plants than from meat. If lentils are on the table, drink water.






Ever eat a stack of pancakes with syrup in the morning and then crash later? That’s because a blood sugar high is often followed by a nap-inducing low. A Polish study suggests that you may blunt that midmorning drag if you sip green tea while you chew through your morning carbs. Also, researchers at Purdue say a squeeze of lemon may increase the disease-fighting polyphenols that are available for your body to absorb from the drink. DISEASE FIGHTER December 2016 | 109









112 | December 2016


She cried during an AT&T commercial. That’s… insane, right?

Why does she get miffed when I happen to notice other women’s cleavage?

As Dr. Brizendine explains, “About 24 to 48 hours before a woman’s period begins, her progestin is dropping and she...” Ooookay, Doc, let’s stop there before someone gets hurt. While this may be true, making hormonal assumptions is always a bad idea. It’d be like a woman saying to a man, “Why are you staring at me? Do you have a boner?” There’s better biology to explain her tears. In the 1980s, the biochemist William H. Frey analyzed the chemical properties of emotional tears (as opposed to those onion-caused tears) and found that they contain prolactin. As it turns out, women have much higher blood levels of prolactin than men do. Ipso facto, tears are more easily provoked in women. Men may also have a built-in governor on tears. “Testosterone has an inhibiting influence and elevates the threshold to cry,” says Ad Vingerhoets, the author of Why Only Humans Weep. Meaning, our testosterone is one of many reasons why our tears don’t spill until something serious hits us, like a death or a World Series loss.

Women may actually be biologically programmed to notice us noticing breasts. When a mother nurses her offspring, a mother lode of the “love hormone,” oxytocin, floods into her brain. The intense bond this creates basically hardwires the maternal instinct to protect her young, says Larry Young, Ph.D., a neuropsychiatrist at Emory University. A similar bond is aroused when she sees you—her baby now—eyeballing another woman’s breasts. But what about the woman sporting the cleavage? When she wears something revealing, is it cultural? Is she being driven by evolutionary history? Possibly. It’s also possible that what she wears has nothing to do with attracting a male gaze. “Women may have many socially dictated reasons for adopting the sexualized look, none of which have much to do with intent to convey an interest in or consent to sex,” notes Avigail Moor, Ph.D., of Tel-Hai College in Israel. Translation: Her body may be on display, but it’s unlikely it’s on display for you, according to the women Moor surveyed.



He nearly cried the last time he had the flu! Why is he such a baby when he’s sick?

Why does he get miffed when I accuse him of always thinking about sex?

The reason we’re not getting any sympathy when we have a bug is because estrogen not only protects women from the flu but also helps lessen its severity. That’s according to research published this year in the American Journal of Physiology. Apparently the so-called “man flu” isn’t entirely a myth. The next time you’re sick and she tells you to stop complaining, remind her that it’s easy to act tough with all that estrogen.

Men think about sex 19 times a day, or once every 50 minutes, an Ohio State University study found. It’s still more often than women (10 times a day), but it’s not “always.” The same study revealed that men think about food 18 times a day and sleep an average of 11 times a day. So tell her that if “hot daydreams about taking long naps in nacho cheese” count as sex to her, then sure, you’re “always” thinking about sex.

P e t e r Ya n g / A u g u s t ( p r e v i o u s )

Think about that: This is a man who expounds on Euclidean quantum gravity and has theories about the black hole information paradox, a concept we can’t even pretend to grasp. But when it comes to members of the opposite sex, Hawking calls them “a complete mystery.” This might seem discouraging. If the author of The Theory of Everything thinks women are unfathomable, what hope do regular guys have? But the problem isn’t that Hawking, a brilliant man, can’t understand them. The problem is that Hawking, like a lot of us, isn’t looking at the situation properly. “A big mistake men make is trying to put themselves in a woman’s shoes,” says Louann Brizendine, M.D., a neuropsychiatrist at UC San Francisco and the author of The Female Brain. “They look at a woman crying and try to identify with it. But they can’t do that. For a guy, if you’re crying, it means some serious shit has happened. So in that situation, putting yourself in another person’s shoes won’t bring you closer to understanding them.” Hawking didn’t approach the riddle of black holes by thinking, “How is this black hole like me?” He did it by removing emotion from the equation and saying, “Okay, let’s see what’s really going on here.” So that’s our plan. We’re going inside the female brain (headlamps on; body armor secure!) where we’ll use cold, objective science to explain her most perplexing behaviors. And while we’re at it, we’ll identify what befuddles women most about men. Now that’s what we call a meeting of the minds.


the menfolk either start throwing punches or run for it. Remember this the next time she has yet another girls night out or travels by female posse to the restroom. What she’s really saying, deep in her evolutionary memory, is “I need to be with other women because I’m worried our tribe might be gored by saber-toothed tigers or decimated by famine or pestilence.” WOMAN BRAIN WONDERS…

Why is he in the bathroom for hours by himself?


Beth Studenberg/

Why does she want to discuss every detail of a problem, even if I already know the solution? If there’s one thing we’ve learned from every hack standup comic, it’s that women love to yack. Except, sorry, it’s not true. A 2007 study from the University of Arizona found that men average 15,669 words a day, versus 16,215 for women. But even though the word salad is about the same size for each sex, women seem to prefer to use verbal strategies to solve problems. “Women have increased connectivity between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, and men connect more from front to back,” says Ragini Verma, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies structural differences between male and female brains. “Male brains facilitate connectivity between regions that handle perception and action. Once men hear something, they want to act on it. But with women, it’s more about the connection between logic and intuition.” So what’s the solution? Take a deep breath, let her talk, and

try not to take it personally. It’s not about whether you can or can’t solve the problem; it’s just the way her brain is wired for problem-solving. “She derives comfort from emotionally analyzing the problem first in the same way you get comfort from acting on the problem immediately,” Dr. Brizendine says.


Why does he think he has the immediate answer to everything and never seems to listen to me? A lot depends on what was happening while she was telling you whatever it was you don’t remember. Next time, tell her you may have been suffering from “inattentional deafness.” If she questions whether such a thing exists, cite the 2015 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience that reported the condition. Researchers theorize that it stems from focusing so intently on a visual task that you momentarily become deaf—literally deaf—to sounds you would otherwise hear. Tell her that if you aren’t making eye contact with her while she’s talking, you’re not listening.


Why does she go to the bathroom with her friends? Women seek friendships for different reasons than men do. They want to “coruminate,” says Tamas David-Barrett, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist at the University of Oxford. “They meet up and then tell each other, often in sequential monologue form, about their issue at that particular moment in their lives.” But men, he says, prefer active friendships. They’d rather socialize with other guys through another activity, such as playing golf or fishing. It could even be an “imaginary action,” says David-Barrett, “like going to the pub to watch a game on TV together.” Women in particular typically behave this way because of an innate biological instinct researchers call “tend and befriend,” a UCLA study discovered. Females of a species cope with stress by nurturing their young (tending) and seeking social contact (befriending). This is different from the fight-or-flight response typically used by males to deal with anxiety. When life gets stressful, women huddle together while

Men don’t get nearly enough alone time. In fact, we actively avoid it. In a University of Virginia study, 67 percent of men opted to give themselves a shock rather than be alone with their thoughts. So anytime a man is alone, even if it’s on the porcelain throne, it’s a good thing. Tell her you’re just staying on the can to be a better man—for her.


Why does she say she’s not hungry and then keep eating my french fries? Some women have a complicated relationship with food. Nearly 90 percent of women are unhappy with their weight. They think about food roughly once an hour, and sex about every 90 minutes. When was the last time you thought about sex? Probably while you were reading this sentence. “There’s the cultural pressure to be thin, which can make them self-conscious about eating in social situations,” says Dr. Brizendine. “They don’t want to be viewed as overindulging.” Just because they don’t order their own fries doesn’t mean they’re not hungry. But for many women, ordering a big meal is the social equivalent of a man crying in public. Even if nobody cares, it still feels like everybody is staring in judgment. CONTINUED ON P. 128

December 2016 | 113


P. 114

IF YOU’VE RACKED UP THE MILES ON SOME OF YOUR BODY PARTS, HERE’S HOW TO TELL IF SURGERY IS A SMART MANEUVER. Every man can finish this sentence: “If it ain’t broke...” If you’re talking about a car or a romance, that’s great advice. But we are merely men, and for our bodies, the rule is different: If it ain’t completely broke now, give it a few years and it might be. Putting off a needed repair might very likely lead to a more complicated one down the road. Just ask Jonathan Stevens, 34, a health care worker in Indiana. One morning last January, he woke with an ache that began in his lower back and radiated through his right butt cheek and down his leg, causing him to limp all the way to a chiropractor. When chiropractic treatment didn’t work, he took meds and muscle relaxants prescribed by his doctor. He tried weeks of physical therapy. Nothing worked. Finally, an MRI revealed that Stevens had a herniated disk at the base of his spine. He consulted with a couple of surgeons and decided to have a diskectomy. Two weeks later, “It was like someone flipped a switch,” he said. His pain vanished and hasn’t returned. Often, things that go wrong with your body can be fixed with exercise, nutrition, common sense, and complaining. “You only consider [surgery] when all other treatments have failed,” says Brian Werner, M.D., who teaches orthopedic surgery at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. But spotting that tipping point—recognizing when surgery is your best option—can be tricky. For the 10 common problems that follow, we’ve identified the moment when it might be time to look toward the OR. December 2016 | 115

Arthritic Hip Wear and tear is the top cause of hip arthritis, but injuries, genetics, and disease can accelerate cartilage breakdown. As a result, your bones can grind together every time you take a step. Pain, stiffness, problems moving and sitting, inability to rotate your leg to put on shoes, or pain when standing are common, says Alan Reznik, M.D., an arthroscopic surgeon based in Connecticut. FIRST-LINE FIXES Try physical therapy and injections of an anti-inflammatory, such as cortisone. Stretching and strength exercises can also relieve hip pain and stiffness, according to researchers in Canada. THE DECISION Guys younger than 50 should grit their teeth and wait if possible. An artificial hip lasts about 30 years, max. Waiting increases the odds that the one surgery will last your lifetime, says Dr. Reznik. WHAT HAPPENS Your surgeon—ideally a hip specialist—rebuilds the ball and socket connecting your thighbone and pelvis. You may walk with a cane for weeks, but by month three you’ll likely be pain-free. 116 | December 2016

Torn Meniscus Your menisci are little wedges of cartilage that provide a cushion between your thighbone and shinbone. They can rip under the pressure of running, jumping, or pivoting. Actor Tom Oakley, 32, says he heard an “almighty snap” during a fight scene on stage in West Side Story. “I couldn’t even walk for the better part of six months,” he says. But meniscus trouble can also develop gradually with age. Pain, swelling, stiffness, and the feeling that your knee is catching, locking, or giving out are warnings, says Kevin Shea, M.D., chair of the EvidenceBased Practice Committee of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. FIRST-LINE FIXES

Rest, physical therapy, and a smart exercise plan may help small tears, says Dr. Shea. Anti-inflammatory meds and injections can also sometimes do the trick, as does weight loss for overweight people who have knee arthritis. Researchers in Norway made headlines this year when they reported that exercise therapy beats surgery for a torn meniscus, but that was just for degenerative (as in age-related) tears, according to study author Nina Kise, M.D. THE DECISION

Digital effects by Eric Heintz; prop styling by Brian Byrne/Set In Ice

If the locking or catching of your knee doesn’t improve after three months of physical therapy, or if you heard that “almighty snap,” you should definitely see a surgeon, says Dr. Kise. That’s what Oakley did, and now he can take on his fight scenes (and climb and run on movie sets) pain-free. WHAT HAPPENS

For minor or unfixable tears, an orthopedic surgeon can trim away the frayed bits of meniscus that cause problems. Recovery takes six to12 weeks. For a bigger tear, see a knee specialist, who may be able to sew your meniscus back together. Healing after this procedure could take as long as six months.

Weak Ankle Ankle weakness occurs when you sprain, twist, roll, or otherwise injure your ankle too many times. If you play squash at lunchtime or tennis on the weekends, pay attention: Ankle sprains happen most often in indoor and court sports. The bands of ligaments that hold your ankle joint in place are flexible and strong, but they can snap or tear if you push them beyond their limits. Then if you don’t take precautions to help your ankle heal properly, you can increase your chances of future strains and ankle arthritis, says Dr. Reznik. Signs of trouble include recurring pain, soreness, swelling, and the sensation that your ankle might give out. FIRST-LINE FIXES

Give it a rest and ice it for 15 minutes every three to four hours, says Dr. Reznik. You may also need a brace, physical therapy, and/or months of rest. “I see people who think they can put on high-top sneakers and braces and stay active,” says Dr. Reznik. “That works for minor sprains, but if your ankle keeps giving out and swells every time, you’re probably doing irreparable damage to your ankle joint.”

Torn Rotator Cuff This group of muscles and tendons stabilizes your upper arm in your shoulder socket. As you age, your rotator cuff weakens and can tear away from the bone, especially if you do activities that require forceful or overhead arm movements. An injury or fall can also detach it. Does your shoulder ache or feel weak when you move it? The culprit behind these sensations could be a bad rotator cuff, says Jason Hsu, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon who repairs shoulders at the University of Washington Medical Center. Either of these warning signs could crop up during overhead movements, or be present all the time.

Deviated Septum Your septum is the wall of bone and cartilage that divides the airways of your nose. It can be skewed or off-center. “Most people have a bit of deviation,” says Michael Stewart, M.D., chair of otolaryngology at Weill Cornell Medical College. Have you ever had trouble breathing during a workout or when your mouth is closed? Those are signs of a deviated septum, says Justin Cohen, M.D., a facial plastic surgeon with the U.S. Air Force’s Malcolm Grow Medical Clinics and Surgery Center. “Having sleep problems is another big one, especially in terms of snoring,” he says. Allergies can worsen the symptoms of a deviated septum, Dr. Cohen adds.



This might sound obvious, but if a movement hurts, don’t do it. Try physical therapy. “It can help strengthen muscles around the shoulder and compensate for any tear you have,” says Dr. Hsu. In a study in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, three-quarters of people with agerelated rotator cuff tears had such good results rehabbing with a physical therapist that they didn’t even want surgery.

A prescription steroid spray may open your nasal passages to relieve breathing or snoring issues, says Dr. Cohen.



If your ankle hurts or feels unstable even after an extended rehab and bracing, consider surgery. WHAT HAPPENS

If rest and therapy don’t help, surgery may restore your shoulder function. It’s something to consider if you’re young and active but have persistent pain and weakness.

The surgeon will either sew your ligaments back to your ankle bones, or stitch in tendons from a cadaver or your own hamstring. (Talk about the walking dead!) You’ll be in a cast or brace for up to six weeks. Full recovery typically takes three to four months.

Your orthopedic surgeon will secure your rotator cuff tendon to the bone using sutures. After a period of rehab, you should be back in the starting rotation in about six months.



Surgery isn’t always necessary. “The conversation I have is one about quality of life,” says Dr. Cohen. Can you run? Play sports? No children pointing at you and laughing? Then you’re good. But if you wake up gasping for air and have ruled out other causes, consider septum surgery—or else it’s finally time to get rid of that water bed. WHAT HAPPENS

An otolaryngologist or plastic surgeon makes an incision and takes out the off-center bone and cartilage. “The layers of the septum are then brought back together, and, if needed, temporary splints are inserted to keep the septum straight,” says Dr. Cohen. You’ll be good in two to three weeks.

Surgery may not always be necessary. Can you run? Play sports? No children pointing at you and laughing? Then you’re good to go.


December 2016 | 117

Hernia A hole in your abdominal muscles can occur at natural points of weakness in the abdominal wall, says David Sanders, M.D., a surgeon with the U.K.’s North Devon District Hospital. The contents of your abdomen, including fat and sometimes even intestines, can then poke through. “I first noticed a slight twinge—almost a burning sensation—just below my waist,” says Adam Gerber, 44. So if you happen to notice a bulge (and not an attractive one) in your groin area, you could have an inguinal hernia— the most common type by far. It may hurt, and the pain may intensify when you cough, bend over, or lift something heavy. FIRST-LINE FIXES

Cataracts When the proteins in your eye’s lens are arrayed properly, the lens is crystal clear, says Harvard ophthalmologist Stephen Foster, M.D. But aging, injury, or UV damage can upset these proteins. The result? Blurred, hazy, or worsening eyesight. You may also have trouble seeing after dark, and bright lights may bug you. FIRST-LINE FIXES Updating your eyeglasses prescription could correct your vision and allow you to delay surgery—perhaps indefinitely. THE DECISION If you can’t do your job or drive at night, it’s time. WHAT HAPPENS It takes minutes in the hands of an ophthalmic surgeon, who will make a tiny incision and swap your lens with a new one made of acrylic material, says Dr. Foster. Sunglasses will become your very cool post-op prop.

1/ Check for board certification

118 | December 2016

This label is a good sign; it means the surgeon passed extra screenings by the American College of Surgeons. Additional certifications may indicate a subspecialty, which could be especially helpful if your case is unusual or complex, Dr. Turner says.

3/ Scope out the site You want not only a good surgeon but also a good facility where the procedure takes place. If you have other health problems or require a risky procedure, an able team of nurses and staff is critical. They may be more readily available at a hospital than at an outpatient surgery center. —MEGAN DiTROLIO


Hernias grow and usually become painful, Dr. Sanders says. How much discomfort are you willing to live with? When the cramping pain of his hernia made walking difficult, Gerber opted to go under the knife. Now he’s back to his daily seven-mile lunchtime run. At some point a hernia could also get stuck in the hole, which can result in a bowel obstruction or blocked bloodflow to the contents of your hernia. That’s an emergency that can be life-threatening if it’s not addressed promptly. WHAT HAPPENS

A surgeon will stitch a swatch of mesh over the hole, explains Dr. Sanders. The mesh acts like a scaffold, and your own tissue will grow through the mesh to reinforce the weakened area without harming nearby tissue. You’ll be back at work in a week or two and able to lift heavy objects and exercise within six weeks.

imgcredi t _ A LL _C RED I T_GU T T ER - lef t

Not all OR doctors are equally skilled with a scalpel. Follow these recommendations to reduce your odds of bad or even deadly results.

This means your doctor has passed extra tests beyond the regular licensing exam. There’s an easy way to find out, says Patricia Turner, M.D., director of member services at the American College of Surgeons. Just go to certificationmatters. org and look up your prospective surgeon.

2/ Find a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.)

In most cases, a hernia isn’t a life-threatening condition, Dr. Sanders says. If you can stand the pain or discomfort and the lump disappears, “there’s always the option to do nothing,” he says, “although most people require an operation in the end.”

Bum Knee You probably know at least a few people who’ve had knee replacement surgery—your dad or grandfather, perhaps. In fact, total knee replacement is one of the most common operations performed in the United States. “An early sign of a future need for the surgery is activity-induced swelling—usually from high-impact sports like running,” Dr. Werner says. “Stiffness, problems sitting down or standing up, and problems negotiating stairs are all early signs of arthritis.” FIRST-LINE FIXES

“A big thing we recommend is weight loss,” says Dr. Werner. With every footfall, your knees bear three to eight times your weight, so a few pounds of body weight matter. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory injections may also help. So can resistance training. THE DECISION

“This [surgery] is not for the guy who goes out for a hike or swings a golf club and has pain,” says Dr. Werner. “This is for a man who can’t straighten or fully bend his knee, or who has a deformity.” If your knee is bowing or your stiffness and loss of motion are progressing, don’t wait. The more mobility you lose before having surgery, the less you’ll regain post-op.

imgcredi t _ A LL _C RED I T_GU T T ER - r ight

WHAT HAPPENS The surgeon will place metal caps on the bottom of your thighbone and top of your shinbone. Then you get a new knee in the form of a plastic insert that allows for smooth movement. You’ll walk the day of surgery, but you’ll need months of physical therapy to recover fully. P H O T O G R A P H S B Y I M G C R E D I T_ A L L _ C R E D I T

| December 2016 CONTINUED ON P. 119 128

I make sure the audience is having the time of their life when they come to see me. It’s the only reason I wanted to do this with my life.

You may be sophisticated and swell, but you’ll never be as swell as this guy. BY ERIC SPITZNAGEL

TONY BENNETT IS AS COOL AT 90 YEARS OLD as he was in his 20s and 30s. Maybe cooler. That’s not lip service. Bennett is legitimately cool at an age when it’s often enough for a man to be able to pull on his own pants unassisted. The way Bennett wears a suit, it always looks like he’s going to a cocktail party that the rest of us weren’t invited to. The coolness can’t be explained just by listing Bennett’s accomplishments, but let’s do that anyway: 110 albums, 81 singles, 19 Grammys. He fought on the front line in Germany, marched with Martin Luther King Jr. at Selma, kicked a cocaine habit using willpower alone, and sketched Lady Gaga naked for charity. And he did it all without changing 120 | December 2016

who he was. The man doesn’t simply adapt to the times; the times lose him and then come find him again. He’s been doing the same thing, with flawless delivery and style, for seven decades. As Clint Eastwood says, “Tony Bennett is cool because he doesn’t have to act like he’s cool.” We caught up with Bennett as he heads into a busy month—he has a new book, Just Getting Started; a new CD and box set; and a two-hour TV special, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come, airing on NBC on December 20. Even just in conversation, his voice is unmistakable, and it’s hard not to hope he might spontaneously burst into song. Sadly, that didn’t happen.

S i m o n E m m e t t / Tr u n k A r c h i v e ( o p p o s i t e ) ; M i c h a e l O c h s A r c h i v e s / G e t t y I m a g e s

MEN’S HEALTH: It’s hard to imagine you in anyYou’ve performed some of the most romantic Why seven years? thing but an impeccably tailored suit. Is it posThere’s so much to learn. I thought I was doing songs of all time. sible that even your pajamas come with a tie? great, and then Fred Astaire took me aside and Well, thank you. TONY BENNETT: They don’t come with a tie, told me how to put a set together. He said, Frank Sinatra’s take on “Fly Me to the Moon” but they’re nice, brand-new pajamas all the “Make a set that you think is perfect, every was arguably more famous, but in our opinion, time. [Laughs.] Being civilized is just importsong feels essential, and then pull 15 minutes your version blows his out of the water. ant to me. out of it.” [Laughs.] That’s genius. Oh no, no, no! When was the last time you wore a grubby After all these years in the limelight, does one Come on, you can say it. Ol’ Blue Eyes had nothT-shirt and sweatpants? gig seem pretty much like another? Or do any ing on you. Grubby? I’ll never wear grubby anything. But of them stand out in your mind? I have so much respect for Frank. He always I exercise every day with a great supported me, to the very last day of trainer. So I’ll wear sweatpants for his life. He was always raving about that. But after that I take a shower me. He was a true inspiration. Everyand jump right back in the suit. thing Sinatra did was quality. Quality, Do you just feel more comfortable in quality, quality. I learned that from formal wear? him. He was 10 years my elder, and I It’s something my mother taught me tried to follow his blueprint. back when we were very, very poor. But you never did movies, like Sinatra. Why not? She was a dressmaker and she didn’t make much money, just a penny a I got talked out of it by Cary Grant, dress. But she used to tell my brother who became a great friend of mine. and me, “Always have a clean suit He came over to my house to buy one jacket, a white shirt, and a black pair of my paintings and we started talking of pants.” That was important to her about movies. I was thinking about and it became important to me. It taking a movie role and he said to me, changed my life. “Don’t do it. You’ll be so bored. It’s If you got your style from your mom, like prison. You just sit there all day, what did you get from your dad? and then you do four lines and go His voice. He was a great singer. Back home. It’s the worst.” He said I should in Calabria, Italy, where he grew up, travel the world instead, meet the my father used to go up into the public, make people feel good. And mountains and sing, and the whole this is Cary Grant, right? The most valley below could hear him. Can you handsome man in the world. So I’m imagine that? No microphone, just thinking, “Maybe I should listen to the power of his voice. him.” [Laughs.] Did you always want to be a singer? How have you lasted this long? Always. When I was 10, after my father As a singer or a person? died, my whole family—we had a lot Both. Either. of Italian relatives who lived nearby— Because I like to make people feel they would come by the house every good. That’s the secret to a long life. Sunday to help my mother and just It’s as simple as that? STAND-UP GUY Tony Bennett in his younger days. Or his later years. It’s make her feel good. I would perform honestly hard to tell with him—this could’ve been taken last week. That’s it. That’s it. But surely you must have nights when for them. I sang for my family, for my mother, because I saw how happy it made They’re never the same. Each one is different. you’re just not in the mood, when the last thing them. I started singing in the courtyards, and It’s funny the things you still remember. There you want to do is sing “I Left My Heart in San the neighbors would throw me pennies. was one time in Chicago—years ago, maybe Francisco” for the 8 billionth time. Your first professional gig, as a teenager, was decades—I’m singing, and all of a sudden the Doesn’t matter. It’s not about me. It’s never as a singing waiter? audience gasps. They’re like, “Wow!” Well, I about me. It’s about them. I always make sure That’s right. I was 14 years old and loved it. I think they’re raving about how good I’m singthe people in the audience are having the time used to take requests to find out what the audiing. But it turns out one of the trumpet players of their life when they come out to see me. It’s ence really wanted to hear. Then I’d go into the behind me fell off his chair. [Laughs.] All that the only reason I wanted to do this with my kitchen and ask the other singing waiters, who time I thought I was killing it. But the damn life. When I was a teenager, I saw Jimmy were all Italian, “How does this song go? What trumpet player is doing pratfalls behind me. Durante perform at the Copacabana [the legare the words?” They’d tell me the words and You’ve played for British queens and American endary New York City nightclub] and he was then I’d come right back out and sing it. presidents. so wonderful. I told my mother the next mornWhat kind of songs? Eleven presidents. I’ve played for every U.S. ing, “I’m going into show business,” and she Love songs, whatever they wanted. president since Eisenhower. said, “How come?” I told her about Durante, And you’ve played at the Playboy Mansion. So you’re a 14-year-old kid, probably going and how the people went crazy for him, and through puberty, singing love songs to adults. Sure. I’m up for anything. he made everybody feel so good. I wanted to Did your voice ever crack? Do you play the same set for a president as you be like that. I wanted to make people feel the way Jimmy Durante made them feel. Oh I’m sure, now and then. Nobody starts do for Hugh Hefner? strong. Even when I was booking nightclubs, It wasn’t about being as famous as Durante? For the most part. But I’ll mix it up, add a few I wasn’t ready. I had some real masters, singers songs in the moment. It depends on the room. No. Never. It’s like Durante sang in that song. “Make someone happy. Make just one somewho had been around the block, say, “You’re For the Playboy Mansion, did you choose songs doing okay, but it’s going to take seven years that were extra sexy? one happy. And you will be happy too.” to learn to do it right.” And they were accurate. I did the opposite. I sang a song called “You [Laughs.] That’s it. That’s all there is. That’s It took exactly seven years. Can’t Love ’Em All.” [Laughs.] all you need to know. 쐍 December 2016 | 121

The Workouts “I tell people now that I still battle with obesity, and they look at me like I’m crazy.” Vinson Smith, who lost 285 pounds

P. 124

P. 126

P. 127

Fast-Track Your Fat Loss

The All-New 6-Move Quad Crusher

Fire Up Your Hustle Muscles

The ticket to your new physique: this calorietorching workout.

Build a lower body that just won’t quit.


This crucial move can help you forge more strength everywhere. December 2016 | 123

The Workouts

Fast-Track Your Fat Loss

It’s the new encyclopedia of fitness, featuring 733 exercises and 100+ workouts. $27, available at and wherever books are sold.

Be the guy who finally sees his abs. Do this workout. Do it often. Thank us later.

Kettlebell Shuffle Swing

Low Box Lateral Runner

Box Thruster

Start with a kettlebell between your legs; thrust your hips forward and swing up. As the bell rises to chest height, step your left foot to the right so that your feet are almost together. As the bell swings back down, step left with your left foot. Repeat, this time stepping right with your right foot.

Stand with your left foot on the floor and your right foot on a low box or step. In one smooth movement, hop sideways across the box so your left foot is on the box and your right foot is on the floor. Repeat back and forth.

Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit tall on a box or bench. Hold the dumbbells in front of your shoulders. In one movement, drive your heels into the floor and push your body to a standing position as you explosively press the dumbbells above your head. Lower yourself and repeat.

Sandbag Reverse Lunge with Rotation

Low Box Plank Stepper

Grasp the handles of a sandbag with both hands and step into a reverse lunge, your left leg back and right leg forward. Rotate the sandbag so you’re holding it at arm’s length on the right side of your body. Now rise to a standing position as you rotate the sandbag in front of you. Switch legs, rotating the sandbag to your left as you step back with your right leg.

Place your left hand and then your right hand slightly forward on a low box. Step down with your left and then your right hand. Repeat, this time starting with your right hand.

124 | December 2016

Trainer: BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., MH fitness director and creator of the 21-Day MetaShred Time: 34 to 60 minutes DIRECTIONS

Start with the warmup, and then move on to the main event. Complete your workout with the finisher.

Single-Leg Plank Walkout


Stand tall on your left leg. Place your hands on the floor and, keeping your right foot in the air, walk your hands out until you’re at least in a high plank position. Reverse the move and switch legs.


Start a timer and perform as many single-leg plank walkouts as you can. Time: 5 to 10 minutes MAIN EVENT


Reverse Burpee Assume a pushup position with your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Slowly walk your hands back toward your feet until you’re in a position to jump up. Quickly explode upward, reaching for the sky.

Complete the supersets in the order shown below for 6, 8, or 10 minutes each, depending on your time or fitness level. So in 1, for example, you’d do low box plank steppers for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, then low box lateral runners for 20 seconds, then rest 10 seconds. Repeat for a total of 6, 8, or 10 minutes; move on to the next superset. 1. Low box plank stepper

+ low box lateral runner Time: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off 2. Band jack pull-apart

Bench Hop Stand next to a bench with your feet together, and grasp it by its sides with both hands. Keeping your hands in place, hop over the bench, landing on the opposite side. Immediately hop back.

+ bear crawl to explosive pushup Time: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

G r o o m i n g : G i n a K a y O s b o r n e / Tr u e B e a u t y M a r k s ; M I T C H M A N D E L ( B B O E )

3. Box thruster +

Sandbag reverse lunge Time: 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off 4. Kettlebell shuffle

swing + bench hop Time: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off FINISHER


Band Jack Pull-Apart

Bear Crawl to Explosive Pushup

Hold a resistance band at chest height out in front of you. Pull your arms back and out as far as you can as you jump your feet out.

Get down on all fours, your knees a couple of inches off the floor. Kick your legs out and drop your body toward the ground. Explosively push back up and return to all fours with your knees raised as before.


Start a timer and do as many reverse burpees as you can. Time: 5 to 10 minutes

December 2016 | 125

The Workouts (from page 45)

The All-New 6-Move Quad Crusher Louie Vito, a pro snowboarder and top winter athlete, reveals his leg day regimen. DIRECTIONS This is a hub-and-spoke routine. The box hop is the hub; all other exercises are the spokes. Do the #1 move, then the hub (20 box hops), and rest 30 seconds. Then do #3, box hops, rest, and so on. Do the whole wheel and rest 1 minute. That’s 1 round; do 4.



Barbell Back Squat

Goblet Squat

Hold a barbell across your back using an overhand grip. Keeping your head up and chest high, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Push back to the starting position. Reps: 6

Stand with your feet slightly beyond shoulder width. Cup the end of a dumbbell and hold it vertically in front of your chest, elbows pointing down. Keep your back straight as you push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat. Push back up to the start. Reps: 6



Box Hop Stand facing a low box. Push your hips back; then thrust them forward and hop on the box. Hop down and repeat. Reps: 20 8




Dumbbell Squat

Dumbbell Stepup

Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides and stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back and squat, keeping your lower back straight. Push back up to the starting position. Reps: 6

Holding dumbbells, place your left foot on a bench or step. Press through your left heel and step onto the bench. Lower your right foot to the floor. Do all your reps, switch legs, and repeat. Reps: 6 per leg

Band Static Squat Loop a resistance band under your feet and over your shoulders, arms crossed. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat until your knees are bent 90 degrees. Hold the position. No band? Do the move without it. Time: 30 seconds 126 | December 2016

Trainer John Schaeffer, Ph.D.(c), a former competitive powerlifter with 25 years of experience working with athletes like Louie Vito and Apolo Ohno


G r o o m i n g : G i n a K a y O s b o r n e / Tr u e B e a u t y M a r k s ; s h o r t s a n d s n e a k e r s p r o v i d e d b y N i k e ; J e n e l l e S c h n e i d e r / M C T / N e w s c o m ( i n s e t )



The Workouts (from page 56)

Fire UpYour Hustle Muscles The barbell hip thrust is the ultimate glute builder. Do it and you’ll have a bigger engine to make your body stronger, faster, and more injury resistant.

Down Position The bar should be positioned in the crease of your hips.

Relax your shoulders—don’t shrug them.


Focus on moving the weight with your glutes, not your lower back. The edge of the bench should be at about the middle of your upper back.

Up Position

When people in a New Zealand study did 4 sets of 6 to 12 hip thrusts twice a week, here’s what they gained in six weeks. 12 pounds on their front squat 110 pounds on their hip thrust 1 inch on their vertical jump 3 pounds muscle on their frame

Trainer Bret Contreras,

G r o o m i n g : G i n a K a y O s b o r n e / Tr u e B e a u t y M a r k s; s n e a k e r s , s h o r t s p r o v i d e d b y N i k e ( h i p t h r u s t)

Ph.D., C.S.C.S.

Your shins should be vertical. Gaze forward throughout the move; this puts your back in a safer position.

Your torso, hips, and upper legs should be flat and parallel to the floor.


Contract your glutes as hard as you can.

Keep your feet flat on the floor.

December 2016 | 127



Herniated Disk “Hernia” means “bad news,” as you may have guessed when you read about abdominal hernias. In this case, it means the soft cushion in a disk in your spine is slipping out of a hole in the firm exterior of the disk. That may cause back pain or compress a nerve and cause leg pain. A herniated disk is usually the result of wear and tear, but an injury could make it worse. An aching back is a hint of trouble, but it’s far from the only one. “It’s a common misunderstanding that a herniated disk is always about back pain,” says Dr. Reznik. Actually, the nerves of your spine tie into almost every part of your body. If a herniated disk squeezes or strangles one or more of those nerves, you may feel pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in your butt, thighs, feet, calves, arms, shoulders, or neck. So basically, you could point the finger at your disks for a variety of aches, pains, and annoyances.

Torn Labrum Your labrum is a piece of cartilage that helps stabilize your shoulder joint—which operates as a loosely fitting ball and socket. This joint runs a higher risk of dislocation than your knees or hips do, probably due to its freedom of movement. Shoulder dislocations can sometimes result in a labral tear. You’ve probably heard about NFL players who were sidelined by (or played with) a torn labrum. It’s a common injury in athletes who put their shoulders in compromising positions. Have you ever felt a sensation that your shoulder is too loose or not working smoothly? These feelings (and pain) are hallmarks of a labral tear. Often this injury is also associated with a fear of instability with certain movements or positions, says Dr. Reznik. Those fears aren’t always unfounded. “Every time you dislocate your shoulder, it becomes easier to dislocate again,” he says.

Or maybe she wasn’t hungry until she caught sight of your fries, and then her internal chemistry reminded her that, yeah, hot fried potatoes would taste really good. (The hunger hormone ghrelin can be stimulated visually.) So next time just order the large fries and look the other way.


Why did he eat all that pepperoni pizza? I barely got any of it! Men are more likely to stuff their faces when a woman is present. We’ll eat 93 percent more pizza (or 1.44 more slices) and 86 percent more salad than usual, according to a 2015 Cornell study. This appears to have evolved partly as a way of signaling that the man has surplus health, says study author Kevin Kniffin, Ph.D. So tell her you ate the last slice to prove you could protect her.




Many herniated disks are fairly minor, and your body’s built-in repair mechanisms may resolve them without requiring intervention, says Dr. Reznik. In fact, research suggests that herniated disks are quite common and many people have them without having any symptoms at all. If you do have a symptomatic herniated disk, your chances of self-repair are good if you just have minor pain and tingling. Rest, ice packs, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and traction—a treatment to decompress your spine— can all help you mend, says Dr. Reznik.

Rest and anti-inflammatory meds can help you heal and manage the pain, says Dr. Hsu. Physical therapy’s not a bad idea either. It can strengthen muscles that stabilize your shoulder.

She says she’s not angry, but I can tell she is. Why won’t she admit it and just say what’s bothering her?


With disk problems, the biggest worry is permanent nerve damage. If a bulging disk strangles a nerve for too long, you might lose feeling in the area fed by that nerve. “In those cases you may get relief from pain, but you’ll never get back full function in the affected area,” says Dr. Reznik. So don’t mess around if you have numbness or weakness, or if one limb or muscle group looks smaller than it does on the other side. The symptoms you can see in the mirror are big red flags. So are problems with bowel or bladder function. Your doctor may conduct imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan to confirm exactly what’s wrong in your spine. WHAT HAPPENS

The procedure typically involves general anesthesia, a small incision in your back or neck, depending on the location of the problem, and “careful removal of the abnormal disk material,” says Dr. Reznik. This operation is best performed by an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine repair, although some cases might require a neurosurgeon. The doctor will stitch you up and within about six weeks you’ll be all better. In general, if the repair is done early enough, the compressed nerves will recover. 128 | December 2016


If you’ve dislocated your wing multiple times, the wear and tear can build up over time. You may eventually need a shoulder replacement, a complicated procedure. Instead, consider having your labrum surgically repaired before the ball and socket deteriorates. Lucas Garrett, 22, dislocated his shoulder playing flag football. He got a sling and saw a PT, but his shoulder still felt weak and loose. “I was always afraid it would dislocate again,” the Kentucky resident recalls. He had a surgical repair, and within a few months he was back lifting weights and running down the field, no longer worried about another injury. WHAT HAPPENS

Ideally, you should go under the knife of an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder procedures. During labrum repair surgery, a surgeon “grasps” the torn tissue and secures it back to the bone. It’s kind of like tying a boat back to a dock. Full recovery typically takes four to five months, says Dr. Hsu. You’ll spend a few of those weeks with your sore shoulder in a sling. WHERE TO BUY Bonobos



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“Women are rarely rewarded for anger the way men are,” says Jessica Salerno, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist at Arizona State. Men, she says, are seen as more competent when they get mad, but women are labeled as emotional and then discredited. The good news: You don’t have to know why she’s angry, just care that she is. In a 2012 study, women’s relationship satisfaction strongly relied on whether their partners were trying to understand their emotions—and that was true even if they weren’t succeeding, says study author Shiri Cohen, Ph.D. So don’t feel you’re a failure if she’s mad. Just acknowledging her anger will make her feel better.


He wants to know why I’m angry? How can he forget our anniversary—again? Nearly nine out of 10 men report problems remembering names, and seven out of 10 recalling dates, according to a 2013 study of over 50,000 people. Age didn’t make a difference, with people in their 30s forgetting nearly as much as 60-year-olds. Phrase it this way: “With so much uncertainty in the world, isn’t it a comfort that you can rely on me to forget our anniversary for the next 30 years?” 쐍


anaerobic energy systems and burning fat more effectively. Plus, most guys think they’re more fun. In a 2011 study, just three 20-minute HIIT workouts a week measurably improved participants’ body composition, metabolism, and cardio fitness. The one downside? You might work too hard, too fast—especially if you choose a high-impact exercise like sprinting. Avoid exhaustion and injury by doing bodyweight exercises only once a week. Squats, pushups, and stepups work well—30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for each, followed by a 2-minute rest, for 5 to 10 rounds. Try 50-meter swim sprints on another day (10 reps, resting for as long as it takes to complete 1 rep). Another day you could do hill sprints on a grassy surface (do 10 and then walk down the hill to recover). Bored or excessively sore? Just abbreviate your work periods, or do mobility exercises during your rest time.

Two years ago, John Short, a 60-year-old professor at Cal State Fullerton, was a chronic overexerter. He’d play 90 holes of golf over a weekend, jump into pickup basketball games, and power through sets of burpees—with a 40-pound vest—just to see if he could do it. Sometime between his umpteenth acupuncture treatment and anti-inflammatory injection, Short got wise. “When you’re in your late 50s, you have to walk a fine line between pushing enough and pushing too far,” he says. He dropped the weighted burpees, hooked up with a trainer, and replaced running with rucking—walking with a weighted pack. He’s currently gunning for an injury-free, top 10 finish in a Spartan race. He’s training smarter. “So many guys my age get hurt and pack it in,” Short says. The answer isn’t to give up altogether; it’s to adjust your routine. Exercise is dose-dependent medicine—your body thrives on just enough of it. “Beyond a certain point, there is actually net harm from extreme exertion,” says Dr. Katz.

Dialing It Back Can Be Smart How do you find the sweet spot? Make sure your workout feels like work. Lifting to “volitional fatigue,” the point at which you can’t do any more reps while maintaining good form, is a more significant factor in determining muscle growth than weight lifted or reps performed, a new study reveals. “As long as you work to fatigue, it doesn’t matter whether you’re lifting 125 pounds 25 times or 250 pounds eight times,” says study author Stuart Phillips, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University. Hard work leads to progress, regardless of the load lifted. To determine when you’ve reached your limit on a workout or activity, try the toe-touch test: Before your workout and between sets (or sprints or rounds of golf or sets of tennis), bend forward and reach for your toes. “If the movement you’re performing agrees with you, you’ll find that your range of motion will increase,” says David Dellanave, C.S.C.S., a Philadelphia strength coach. Feeling looser and being able to reach farther means your body is green-lighting that exercise. If, on the other hand, you get tighter (you can’t bend forward as far), then adjust, move on to a new exercise, or towel off and head home. Skipping a set or two in a planned workout sounds heretical to some hard-core gymgoers. Dellanave disagrees: “Unless you’re a competitive athlete, there’s no need to do any particular exercise in a training session,” he says.

Your mission, then, is to put these rules together to figure out your perfect training plan. It starts with doing things consistently (Pillar 2). Fine-tune with Pillar 4. Choose a range of activities in a variety of intensities: two or three days of higher-intensity activities (sprints, heavy lifting, climbing, or body-weight strength circuits) coupled with another two or three days of easier stuff, like hiking, jogging, or cycling. Track a few metrics, such as distance covered, weight lifted, and reps completed so you know when you’re getting better (as per Pillars 1 and 3), and use those stats to determine if you should go hard or go home (Pillar 5). Finally, whenever and however you can, whether it’s part of a formal workout or not, just play. Shoot hoops with friends, toss a ball with your kid, make like a ninja on the monkey bars. “Pick something you like and go for it,” says Stewart. “If you don’t have a smile on your face when you’re working out, you’re doing something wrong.”

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, AND CIRCULATION STATEMENT OF THE OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION OF Men’s Health REQUIRED BY ACT OF OCTOBER 23, 1962: SECTION 4369, TITLE 39, UNITED STATES CODE, FILED, October 1, 2016 Publication Number: 1054-4836 Annual Subscription Price: $24.94 Contact Person: Joyce Shirer; Telephone: 610-967-8610 Men’s Health is published 10 times a year at 400 South 10th Street, Emmaus, PA 18098, publication and general business offices. 1. The names and addresses of the publisher, editor, and managing editor are: Publisher: Ronan Gardiner, 733 Third Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10017 Editor: William Stump, 400 South 10th Street, Emmaus, PA 18098 Managing Editor: Melissa Jewsbury, 733 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10017 2. The owner is: Rodale Inc., 400 South 10th Street, Emmaus, PA 18098 The stockholders thereof being, Rodale Family Trusts – JP Morgan Trust Company as Trustee 3. The known bond holders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None Average no. of copies each issue during preceding 12 mos.

SEP 2016 Single issue nearest to filing date

A. TOTAL NO. COPIES (Net Press Run)



B. PAID CIRCULATION 1. Mailed paid subscriptions




3. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales, and other paid


















H. TOTAL (Sum of F and G) 2,360,640

















D. PERCENT PAID (both Print & Electronic Copies)

50% of all distributed copies (electronic and print) are paid above a nominal price. Publication of the Statement of Ownership is required. Will be printed in the December issue of this publication. Steven Twilliger, EVP/CFO


The List 21New MicroAggressions to Avoid in 2017 1 

Calling someone a “snowflake” because it suggests that they are from a snowbound state, not because you value them as unique.

Saying “Happy holidays” instead of a proper, historically correct Christmas greeting, like “All hail the mighty Lord of Misrule, host of the Feast of Fools and emperor of all revelers.”

Pronouncing someone’s name without acknowledging the umlaut.


Asking “Out late last night?” just because a guy didn’t shave, has bloodshot eyes, and decided to wear sweatpants to work.

Telling someone they have the star quality of Corey Feldman on the Today show.

Singing out loud that annoyingly catchy pop song that you haven’t been able to get out of your head all day.

Threatening to move to Canada after the election but then totally not moving. You owe Ottawa an apology.

5  6 

Referring to large earthenware containers as “jugs.”

Using hurtful words and phrases like “lazy,” “unmotivated,” or “maybe it’s time you moved out of my basement.”

Interacting with your dog without acknowledging your opposable thumbs privilege. 130 | December 2016

Knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re” but still mixing them up because you’re in a hurry and it’s just social media. Doing an impression of Chevy Chase from any of his movies without adding, “But of course, addiction is no laughing matter.”


Whispering into a small child’s ear, “Our government is run by lizard people wearing human skin disguises who want to hurt your mommy and daddy” while dressed up as Santa Claus.

Texting “LOL” when you barely cracked a smile.

Calling your cellmate “Tiny” even though he weighs 350 pounds and bends iron bars for fun.


Posting a Facebook tribute to a recently deceased rock star even though you haven’t actually listened to him since high school.

18 19 20

Using the word “moist” in any context.



Peeing behind a bush or tree that isn’t explicitly gender neutral.


Going to a Star Wars premiere dressed as Han Solo or Darth Vader, forcing other audience members to be reminded of their complicated relationships with their fathers.


When introducing yourself to a woman you find attractive, forgetting to immediately apologize for your subconscious role in reinforcing the patriarchal conspiracy, and then apologizing for mansplaining the patriarchy to her, and then running back to your apartment to sit alone in the dark because a monster like you shouldn’t be allowed to roam freely among the innocent.

B r y a n M u l l e n n i x /G e t t y I m a g e s (t r e e), Va s a k n a /G e t t y I m a g e s (m a n), B e c k y R o c k w o o d /G e t t y I m a g e s (c h i l d), J a n K o r n s t a e d t /G a l l e r y S to c k ( Va d e r)


Vehemently denying the fact that such things as micro-aggressions exist.


Transform your body in 30 minutes!

CREATED BY MEN’S HEALTH TOP TRAINER Gideon Akande, this kickass revolutionary fitness program will help you: Q Rip Your Abs, Chest, Arms, and Legs! Q Blast Stubborn Belly Flab! Q Crank Up Your Fat-Burning Metabolism! Q Get Stronger All Over!

6. Sweat Stacks 5. Total-Body Trifecta 4. 7-Minute Shred Sets 3. Belly-Fat Knockout 2. Glutes and Gut Gauntlet 1. Rip and Repeat 202944301



Wish list: Nina Dobrev and the 2017 Camaro SS. Find the year’s best new gadgets, toys, and cars inside.

SPREAD HOLIDAY BEER Happy holidays from the original light beer


av. analysis (12 fl. oz.): 96 cals, 3.2g carbs, <1g protein, 0g fat.

S t y ling: I lar ia U r binati/ T he Wall Group, hair: Riaw na C apr i/9 01 A r tis ts, makeup: B eau N elson/M AC C osmetic s/ T he Wall Group, mani cure: N et tie D av is/ T he Wall Group, p r o p s t y l i n g : A l e x N a w r o c k i / F a e t h g r u p p e , p r o d u c t i o n : B a r b i e D u a r t e / 3 S t a r P r o d u c t i o n s ; W o l f o r d b o d y s u i t ( t h i s p a g e ) ; To p s h o p b o d y s u i t ( c o v e r )

04 10 14 19 22 26 28 32

Adventure Fitness Winter Home Travel Kids Cars Virtual Reality

Edited by Matt Bean Cover and Nina Dobrev photographs by Eric Ray Davidson Product photographs by Dan Forbes Illustrations by Elias Stein CONTRIBUTORS

SHOOT FIRST Our cover model Nina Dobrev with the Sony α6300

Eric Adams, Ben Court, Mike Darling, Michael Easter, Paul Kita, Stephen Krcmar, Michael Lafavore, Dan Michel, Jen Murphy, Sandra Nygaard, Dean Stattmann

MEN’S HEALTH Vol. 31, No. 10 (ISSN 1054-4836), is published 10 times per year (monthly except for January and July) by Rodale Inc., 400 South 10th St., Emmaus, PA 18098–0099; (800) 666-2303. Copyright 2016 by Rodale Inc. All rights reserved. In U.S.: Periodicals postage paid at Emmaus, PA, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster (U.S.): Send address changes to Men’s Health magazine, Customer Service, P.O. Box 26299, Lehigh Valley, PA 18002-6299. IN CANADA: Postage paid at Gateway, Mississauga, Ontario; Canada Post International Publication Mail (Canadian Distribution) Sales Agreement No. 40063752. Postmaster (Canada): Send returns and address changes to Men’s Health magazine, 2930 14th Avenue, Markham, Ontario, L34 5Z8. (GST# R122988611). Subscribers: If the postal authorities alert us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within 18 months.


Get closer to nature with a comfortable DIY treehouse (a.k.a. hammock). The Eagles Nest Outfitters OneLink DoubleNest even has a canopy. $220, eaglesnest

MSR Guardian Purifier

Mission Workshop Arkiv

BioLite PowerLite Mini




The healthy hiker

The urban explorer

The night owl

It’s pricey, but avoiding GI-problems makes it worth the investment. This water purifier boasts an innovative filtration system that blocks viruses and bacteria, and the rugged plastic can last 50 years in case you decide to apply the “can’t stop, won’t stop” philosophy to your hiking. $350,

We’ve never tested a more versatile system. Rails and lash points allow the base bag to be tricked out with add-ons—a phone pouch here, a lined iPad folio there, and more. It’s the ultimate solution for a guy who needs an everyday bag that’s more sidekick than stash sack. $220,

Tired of looking dorky in that headlamp? Here’s an alternative: a powerful lantern that can fit into a chest pocket with enough room left for a flask. Use it as a bike light or flashlight; four brightness modes light up the night and keep you safe. Bonus: It works as a phone charger in a pinch. $45,


THE I.T. GIRL Nina Dobrev, the nerd with attitude and know-how in xXx: Return of Xander Cage, knows when to embrace tech and when to unplug. In a sequel to the 2002 movie xXx, Nina Dobrev plays Becky, a tech whiz who can write code, hotwire any gadget, and be the brains behind Vin Diesel’s brawn. But her real-world skill set is even more impressive. “I lead a double life,” the 27-year-old says. “When I’m not working, I’m out rock climbing, skydiving, snowboarding, or doing obstacle-course races—anything I can do for fun.” On a recent camping trip, Dobrev learned to wakesurf and MacGyvered a 100-yard Slip’n Slide out of plastic. “I do my own stunts and I’m not afraid to take

risks,” she says. Growing up in Canada, Dobrev embraced winter sports—they made the long winters bearable and stoked her passion for the outdoors. “I was skiing and snowboarding at age 6. I love that feeling of being bundled up right and riding down a mountain.” Dobrev appreciates the way tech makes adventures easier and more fun—whether it’s a waterproof fabric, long-lasting glove warmers, or her favorite slow-motion video mode on her phone. “Everything is better on Instagram in slow-mo, especially wipeouts and face plants,” she says. But she knows when to unplug. “Sometimes people are too busy chasing the moment to actually experience it. I don’t want to be glued to my device. I like those private moments.”


Feed Your Lust for Adventure

Big Agnes Krumholtz UL2 mtnGLO BEST FOR

High-voltage camping trips Not everyone goes hiking to disconnect. When Big Agnes collaborated with solar luminary Goal Zero to create a high-tech tent, the result was the twoperson Krumholtz: LED lights are stitched into the seams, an interior fan keeps you cool on summer nights, and a solar panel can charge up any of your USB-enabled devices. So go ahead, Instagram that sunset. $650,

JetBoil Genesis System

Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid

Yeti Hopper Flip 12

Eddie Bauer Flying Squirrel





Backcountry feasts

Fast hikers

Nature tailgaters

Old-school campers

You may never set foot out of basecamp if you’re cooking on this incredibly efficient dual-burner stove. The set includes a ceramic coated nonstick frying pan and a 5-liter pot that’s designed for quick heating. Everything nests compactly for easy transportation. $350,

The running shoe innovator Altra earned its trail cred with wide-toebox, zero-drop shoes for efficient runners. This is the company’s SUV: It’s still zerodrop, but the upper is constructed from a new waterproof, breathable fabric. It’s ideal for fast-paced hiking. $160,

When you and your old man are headed out to the lake for an afternoon with a pair of six-packs, the Flip is the perfect third wheel. It’s remarkably rugged and plenty efficient at keeping your brews frosty. The leakproof cube can keep ice from melting for an entire weekend! $280,

We love the zipperless design on this sleeping bag, which Eddie Bauer designed as a lightweight, compact option for its guides. The button closure proved so popular that the company put it into wide release. Ideal for nights when the mercury won’t fall below 40ºF. $240,

The 7-watt solar panel clips on top of the tent where it can capture a full charge in three hours. The cord snakes in through a waterproof port.


P r o p s t y l i n g : A r i a n a S a l v a t o / A p o s t r o p h e ( m a i n p r o d u c t s) ; s t y l i n g : I l a r i a U r b i n a t i / T h e W a l l G r o u p , makeup: B eau N elson/M AC/ T he Wall G roup, hair: Riaw na /C apr i 9 01 A r tis ts , manicure: N et tie D a v i s / T h e W a l l G r o u p , p r o p s t y l i n g : A l e x N a w r o c k i / F a e t h g r u p p e ( D o b r e v i m a g e s) ; L a P e r l a b r a , H e r v e L e g e r b i k i n i b o t t o m , J e f f r e y C a m p b e l l b o o t s , Tr e a s u r e a n d B o n d s o c k s ( p r e v i o u s p a g e )

The 29-square-foot floor is right in the sweet spot for two-person tents; the 39-inch ceiling is higher than most tents in its class.

The superlative-charged chronograph. 50 mm case in BreitlightÂŽ. Exclusive Manufacture Breitling Caliber B12 with 24-hour military-style display. Officially chronometer-certified.


Feed Your Lust for Adventure The α6300’s sensor uses two kinds of autofocus detection to capture action even in low light.

Experiment with the manual settings to fine-tune your shooting. But grab at least one photo in auto to compare.

Start on a wide setting, such as 20 mm, to capture as much scenery as you can; then zoom in to focus on details.

OUTSOURCE YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE Let these experts handle the stressful part of your escape. SECRET COMPASS A military background enables this UK outfitter to hedge risk while pioneering expeditions off the grid. Itineraries like trekking in Panama’s Darien Gap or packrafting in Gabon involve sleeping in hammocks, eating dehydrated rations, and using survival skills. The bragging rights you’ll take home are worth roughing it for a few weeks. MOUNTAIN LODGES OF PERU Llamas and alpacas are the only traffic you’ll encounter when you hike the trails to Machu Picchu with MLP. The socially conscious outfitter works with local communities to operate a network of lodges along exclusive, scenic trails. mountainlodges

Sony α6300 BEST FOR

The light traveler With superfast focus time and a Flylow Gear shoot rate of up to 11 frames per Sinclair Flannel second, you’ll be ready for action BEST FOR of any sort; and with Sony’s sharp, Wintry expeditions new 24.2-megapixel sensor calling A healthy helping of synthetic insulathe shots, you’ll want to share tion makes this flanthe results. (Built-in Wi-Fi makes nel more than a mere layering piece. It’s a that a snap.) But the real reason winter workhorse, this rig will make you a better perfect for beating the chill as you split shooter is that you’ll have it with wood or spend time you all the time; it’s compact and on the slopes. Reinforced forearms lightweight and outshoots most you from shredfull-size DSLRs, and certainly every keep ding the sleeves. smartphone. $1,150 with lens, $125, 8 TECH GUIDE 2017 MEN’S HEALTH

Marmot Graviton 38

Fjallraven Vidda Pro



A two-day hike

Blazing trails

With a detachable lid, wraparound zipper, and multiple entry points, packing fast and rummaging through this bag on the move is easy. The airflow suspension system gives your back breathing room, and the whole thing checks in at just over 2 pounds. $169,

We like the durable, water-resistant poly-cotton fabric and functional cut of these adventure pants. Articulated knees make it easy for you to move, and seven pockets ensure that anything you might need— map, ax, flashlight, knife—is handy. $150,

RAPHA CYCLING TOURS This company prides itself on having insider intel on the restaurants, roads, and wineries of America, Europe, and even Japan. In France, its "100 climbs in 10 days" trip challenges hard-core riders, while the Retreat Girona offers scenic peaks, coastal cruising, and Catalan cuisine.


This device not only measures your heart rate at your wrist but also estimates your VO2 max and lactate threshold.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT BEST FOR

Your first triathlon The Forerunner keeps things simple: A couple of taps to the button on the side connects the GPS in seconds. Another tap is all it takes to switch from swimming to cycling mode (it’s waterproof) if you’re competing in a tri. The substantial battery life—up to 14 hours with GPS and the HR monitor both running— means it’ll still be going strong as you cross the finish line. $450, 10 TECH GUIDE 2017 MEN’S HEALTH

Lalo Tactical Maximus


Lululemon T.H.E. Short 11 Luxtreme Liner

Tracking the basics


Crushing WODs

Suunto Spartan Ultra

Fitbit Flex 2


Blazing new routes It has 80+ sport modes—including running, hiking, and skiing—preloaded, and a battery that runs for 26 hours even with the GPS activated. Our favorite feature, though, is the heat-mapping tech that lets you seek out (or avoid) popular running or hiking paths. $800,

Fitbit’s newest tracker is easy to ignore, and that’s a good thing. If you want a flashy gadget that celebrates your every step, buy a smartwatch. The ’Bit’s waterproof band tracks steps, distance, calorie burn, and how well you slept. A single charge lasts up to five days. From $100,

Sweat storms We’ve worn this pair everywhere from TRX classes to full marathons to blazinghot yoga sessions. The sweat-wicking, four-way-stretch liner is one of the few that never chafed, and the zippered pockets kept our valuables from spilling out. $78,


Designed by Gym Jones trainer Bobby Maximus, this training shoe is made for heavy lifting and fast sprinting. Vents double as drainage holes, so you can rinse them out after a workout. Some proceeds go to the families of first responders and military KIA. $140,


OLD-FASHIONED EXERCISES FOR YOUR NEW TECH Three classic moves to give your heart-rate monitor a workout.

L a P e r l a b r a , I v y P a r k To p s h o p b i k e s h o r t s , C a s e d e i s h o e s

Anyone can go hard, but it’s how quickly you recover from a hard effort that’s a true measure of fitness. Do any of the exercises below nonstop until your heart rate reaches 95 percent or more of its maximum. (Your HR monitor will tell you this.) Then stop and time how long it takes to drop to 50 percent of your max. For an average 45-year-old man, these numbers would be about 170 and 88, respectively. Test yourself every few weeks. A shorter recovery time means you’re getting fitter. Burpee Stand tall. Bend at your hips and knees and squat, lowering your torso and placing your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward into a pushup position. Do a pushup; then immediately reverse the move and quickly stand up from the squat. Repeat. Medicine Ball Slam Stand with your feet hip width apart, holding a medicine ball over your head. Explosively slam the ball to the floor in front of you. Grab it on the rebound and repeat. Jump Rope Quickly skip the rope, doing double-unders if you’re able to.

Specialized Roubaix Elite BEST FOR

Riding faster and longer Conquer hills while sparing your quads on the lightest road frame Specialized has ever produced. The company partnered with Formula One leader McLaren to engineer a smoother and more comfortable ride. A spring in the new suspension system absorbs shocks to the handlebar to help reduce fatigue, while disc brakes and bigger tires make it versatile enough to cruise over both pavement and gravel.

An extra-wide fork accepts wheels up to 32 centimeters. Wider whips make fast cornering safer on gravel.

$2,600, MEN’S HEALTH TECH GUIDE 2017 11

Engineer a Better Body

The midsole’s polyurethane comes from the same company that BMW uses to cushion its dashboards.

Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged BEST FOR

Gunning for a new PR The Boost’s highly cushioned soles are so responsive that you’ll swear they’re springloaded. The slight rise in the toebox helps propel you forward naturally, and the stretchy, socklike upper remains sturdy and supportive after many miles. $180,

Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless

Apple Watch Nike+ BEST FOR



Alphas seeking more

Bossing any race

Built-in GPS, water resistance, and a new partnership with Nike make the Apple Watch, at long last, a serious contender in the fitness watch arena. Apple’s fun OS and Activity app (compatible with Strava, Nike+ Run Club, and others) give this one an edge over its limited competitors. From $369,

Most sports shades look out of place when you slow down. Wear them to a barbecue and you might as well show up in a singlet. But Roka’s new aviators change all that. They feature durable Zeiss lenses and a nose pad that sticks better the more you sweat. All you need now is a wingman. $275,

Amped-up training These block rockers boast a smart chip that pairs effortlessly with your iPhone while enhancing the sound quality and range from your device. Forgot to charge? Stretch for five minutes while they’re sipping from the USB cable and you’ll get an hour’s worth of tunes. $200, 12 TECH GUIDE 2017 MEN’S HEALTH

As you run, the knit upper expands with your foot to keep you comfortable and minimize hot spots.

Roka Phantom

Carpe dirt.

Introducing the new Golf Alltrack with 4MOTION® all-wheel drive. Soon to be everywhere. Let’s rethink dirt. Because with dirt also comes green grass, tall trees, and roads far less traveled. That’s why we equipped the Golf Alltrack with 4MOTION all-wheel drive and an Off-Road Mode*, so you can go out there and seize the beauty of this dirt-covered world, get your wheels muddy, and wash off all that civilization. After all, dirt is the greatest of cleansers.

*Optional accessories shown. Always ensure that your vehicle is equipped with appropriate tires and equipment and always adjust your speed and driving style to the road, terrain, traffic, and weather conditions. See Owner’s Manual for further details and important limitations. ©2016 Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Trek Farley EX 9.8 BEST FOR

Four-season riding A fat bike—a mountain bike with 4-inch tires—loves winter because it can float over snow. The Farley checks that box, but it’ll also ride smoothly on sand, dirt, and even tarmac. The full suspension and large wheels—27.5 inches instead of the usual 26—help it monstertruck over roots and rocks too. $5,500,

Aether Fusion Shell

Line Blend Skis

Arc’Teryx ProclineCarbon




Cooling down fast

All-mountain fun

Climbing and skiing

A new three-layer fabric lets the Fusion adjust heat retention and breathability. Hammer the bumps and the membrane opens. Chill on the chairlift ride and it contracts for warmth. Primo extras: a Recco reflector and helmetfriendly hood. $675,

The Blend’s 100mm waist is wide enough for charging through powder without being too fat for groomers or park laps. Thanks to the soft tips and tails, there’s plenty of flex if you’re hucking around, but they’re also stiff enough to do fast turns with ease. $750,

A first-of-its-kind hybrid, this boot capitalizes on Arc’Teryx’s alpine climbing heritage with a carbonfiber cuff that can rotate both vertically and horizontally on technical ascents. Then lock it and click into your skis for a blazing descent. $1,000,


Despite the XXXL wheels, the Farley weighs a svelte 32 pounds due to its lightweight but superstrong carbon frame.


The shiny look comes courtesy of an aluminum topsheet. That delivers pop, while layers of urethane absorb chatter.

Ride Timeless BEST FOR

Wolford bodysuit, Casadei shoes

All-mountain fun The engineers at Ride designed the Timeless with the pros in mind— specifically, those seeking to conquer the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom. Serious snowboarders consider the LBS the sport’s most formidable challenge. But even you, a serious seeker of fun, will dig the responsiveness of this board’s unique sidecut, as well as the reverse camber near the nose. Death risk not included. $750,




BEYOND THE CLIMB The act of climbing is simple yet, when broken down, it becomes complex. No two climbs are ever the same. Climbing allows me to travel the world, meet new people, and climb on various kinds of rock in beautiful places. MASTERING MY MOVEMENT Precise, tense, isolated and dynamic. My fingers, shoulders, and core are strong, allowing me to look like I am moving in slow motion. I know when to be controlled and when to be more aggressive. EVERYDAY DRIVE Climbing is a giant journey. Every climb, I learn something different about myself. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get to the top, and sometimes it takes weeks, months or years. There is always a brief moment of doubt, if what I am trying is even humanly possible. Overcoming that feeling and being confident in my abilities keeps me present and makes me feel alive.


Climb High, Stay Warm ADVENTURE LOCATION Joshua Tree, California

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY I woke up with a heinous cold and it was 25°F. Our photographer, Tim Kemple, wanted to do an early shoot on this highball boulder called White Rastafarian, a V2 grade climb. Alex Johnson (a North Face athlete) and I got up without anything to eat and climbed this line while Tim shot us. By noon it warmed up quite a bit – the beauty about being in the desert! Despite the rough start, the climbing ending up being pleasant.

MAIN LESSONS Layer Up: The cold-to-hot fluctuation during wintertime in the desert is extreme. The Desert Is Not-So-Dead: Joshua Tree had so many creatures and plants that I don’t have in Boulder, my hometown. Seeing them was a real treat.

MY GEAR The North Face Men’s ThermoBallTM Full-Zip Jacket and Beanie, and Petzl Head Lamp

The Products PUTTING THERMOBALLTM TO THE TEST I used my North Face ThermoBallTM Jacket during the coldest times of day, the morning and evening, when temperatures got into the 20s. It’s nice to have a versatile jacket that will keep me warm throughout all extremes of cold as well as in more comfortable temperatures.



TRAVEL-FRIENDLY, DURABLE AND FLEXIBLE Lightweight & Packable: Stowable in a hand pocket Heat Trap: Elastic cuffs for your wrists trap in heat


DANIEL WOODS Men’s THERMOBALL™ Hoodie Joshua Tree National Park, California Photo byTim Kemple

Ultralight warmth for any activity

Packable and light

Warm when wet


Down alternative

The software on this 1080p HD camera can tell the difference between human and dog. Sparky won’t set off an alert.

Nest Cam Outdoor BEST FOR

Sleeping easily Peace of mind doesn’t come in packages much smaller than this. Nest’s new home security camera has built-in night vision and is waterproof, so you can install it anywhere. When it detects a person, it’ll text you with a live feed that you can watch on your phone. The camera records continuously and can upload the last 30 days into the cloud. A built-in mic lets you warn off potential intruders or tell the FedEx guy to leave the package on the patio.

Choosing hardware is just the beginning. Rolling updates and third-party services make this an ongoing battle; these devices are becoming essential. You’ll have to pick one eventually.


Amazon Echo

Google Home



Prime members

Everyone else

Amazon’s in-home hub already supports 3,000-plus “skills,” from recommending recipes to playing music. It’s as useful in the day-today scrum (“Alexa, buy toilet paper”) as it is for a parlor trick (“Alexa, tell me a joke”). The latest updates even allow you to unlock and start your smart car. $180,

Google’s entry is just opening its platform to developers. It’s a lock if you’re using Android or Chromecast, and it offers some solid functionality—weather, music, calendar. But only time will tell if Home will make as many friends in your connected home as Alexa has. $129,


Make Your Home Work

Green Monster: 3 carrots, 2 green apples, a handful of kale, a thumb of fresh ginger, the juice of a lemon, and a big pinch of cayenne.

OWN YOUR CONNECTED HOME Three other cool things you can do with smart home tech. Technology created to simplify life often ends up complicating it and stressing us out. These three helpers can save you time, money, and mind-numbing exchanges with “Jeffrey” in tech support. 1/ MONITOR YOUR GARDEN Push an Edyn Garden Sensor into the ground and it’ll tell you everything you need to know about your soil nutrition and H2O needs, as well as how much sunlight the plants are getting. A water valve (sold separately) can handle watering automatically. $100,

Omega Silver Juice Cube 300S BEST FOR

Kitchen wizards One-trick appliances gobble counter space and hinder your gourmet genius. This all-inone, lawnmower-engine-looking machine is billed as a juicer, but it also extrudes pasta, churns nut butters, makes sorbet, and grinds coffee beans. Can’t say that about the bread machine your mom had in the 1990s, can you? What’s more, the removable parts are dishwasher safe. $350, 20 TECH GUIDE 2017 MEN’S HEALTH

Joule Sous Vide Wand and App

La Marzocco Custom GS3

Philips Avance Collection Grill




The home barista

The grillmaster

Just like a manual sports car, this Italian espresso machine requires a careful hand at the controls. Learn the craft and you’ll savor the ritual of pulling the perfect shot, turning a mechanistic refueling into a satisfying exercise in precision and control. From $6,900,

If you’ve stabled your trusty outdoor Weber for the winter, this infrared-powered indoor rig is an awesome substitute. It fires up in about a minute to sear meats and vegetables with grill marks at high heat. Plus, it’s nearly smokeless. Quick, grab some chops. $300,

The Top Chef devotee Rest this magic wand in a pot of water and it works like a supersensitive slow cooker. Use an app to set the Joule and heat H2O to a specific point—say, 140°F, the temp of a medium-rare steak. Said steak goes into a plastic bag, bag goes into water, water cooks steak to nirvana. $199,

2/ KEEP YOUR HOME LEAKPROOF Water damage can soak your savings. The average 2016 repair cost? $2,270, according to HomeAdvisor estimates. The SmartThings Water Leak Sensor can send you realtime notifications and save you thousands. $40, 3/ FAN YOUR PRODUCTIVITY Haiku ceiling fans can be programmed to turn on and off when you enter and leave, vary their speed to mimic a real breeze, and adjust in response to heat and humidity. From $450,

LG’s latest screen can display over a billion colors and achieve true black.

The Soundbar has 15 built-in speakers, four of which fire vertically.

LG E6 OLED 4K HDR Smart TV 65" Class + Samsung HW-K950 Soundbar BEST FOR

Home theater that rivals the cineplex The biggest TV advance in a decade, the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen produces the best picture yet. TVs need only red, green, and blue light to create images, and OLEDs do this using materials that naturally emit these colors. (Regular LED, LCD, and plasma TVs manipulate backlighting using color filters or convert UV light with special gases.) Pair this LG with Samsung’s latest 500-watt wireless surround sound system—which simulates explosions and screams coming from above—and you’ll have the best seat in the house every night. $4,500,; $1,500,

Screen Innovations ZeroG

Dyson Hot+Cool Link

Roku Ultra




Big-screen action

Comfort-zoning out

Sticking it to cable

We love a big flatscreen, but it can dominate a room and can’t always be positioned ideally. Cue this 4K screen (from 70 to 160 inches wide) that unrolls from the ceiling so it can go anywhere. Project your movie or game onto it and when it’s over, roll the screen up. From $5,700,

The mad scientists at Dyson build fans that look like Star Wars set pieces, but it’s not just the design that sets this unit apart. It’s nicely compact (8.6 pounds, 2 feet high) and can fill a room with warmth. Plus it has a built-in sleep timer, and it purifies the air. Pretty cool. Or warm. Or whatever. $600,

The new Roku streams a ton of stuff, including 4K and HDR (high dynamic range) content from Amazon and Netflix so you can see every strand of Claire Underwood’s hair. New features include voice search for finding shows quickly and a remote with a headphone jack. $130,



Bose QuietComfort 35 BEST FOR

Pretending you’re not in coach NFL coaches use Bose headphones to call plays while 75,000 fans scream in the background. This wireless pair uses some of the same technology to keep you blissfully oblivious to crying babies and loudtalking tourists. They fold up to pack easily and last 20 hours on a charge, so you should have plenty of juice for the red-eye home. $350,

Apple AirPods BEST FOR

The impatient man Never again waste your time untangling cords or futzing with erratic Bluetooth pairing. Apple’s solution is dead simple: Set these smart buds by your phone, tap the screen, and you’re in business. $159,

Bowers & Wilkins P7 BEST FOR

The audiophile Topnotch wireless audio falls flat when you’re anxious about the USB charger. These cans have a class-leading 17 hours per charge and cover your ears with sheepskin leather. They also fold down into a compact case. $400,

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 BEST FOR

The amateur DJ Pack a party in your carry-on: This Bluetooth speaker bumps out powerful beats with two 140-watt drivers and up to 24 hours of battery life— so you can rock out and then chill out. $249,

Tune Out Travel Stress

Apple iPhone 7 Plus BEST FOR

The creative road warrior Apple’s latest offers incremental improvements to the low-light fidelity of its photos, but the “portrait” mode is a real advance. The feature sits in the standard camera menu and leverages the iPhone’s two cameras to create the blurred background the pros often use for portraits and still lifes. This so-called “bokeh effect” helps the foreground stand out. Just swipe to select, follow the on-screen prompts, and cancel the wedding photographer. $769,

Go Hollywood with the Osmo Mobile gimbal stabilizer. $299,


Rimowa Electronic Tag

Meridian Transport Case

Men’s Health staffers picked their favorites for business travel. HOTELTONIGHT For that moment when you realize they booked you in a depressing dive on the wrong side of town. It’ll find you new digs at a price that won’t set off the bean counters’ alarms. SEATGEEK For that empty night. Find cheap, last-minute tickets to concerts and games—with extremely detailed seating maps. BEERMENUS For targeted thirst quenching. Punch in the name of the local brew you want to try— or your hometown fave when homesick—and the app will point you to the nearest tap.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4




The million-mile man

The mad packer

The multitasker

Now that paper ticketing is a dinosaur, we’re going with this smart alternative, which displays your luggage tags on a mini screen. Just sync via Bluetooth in your carrier’s app (just Lufthansa is participating now, with more due to join in soon) and drop your bag at the counter. $965,

Made of ripstop nylon, this clamshell-style carry-on offers a variety of interior modules to accommodate all your geeky toys. It’s designed to flex just enough to fit into the overhead compartment while keeping your shirt collars and electronics unsquashed. $425,

The lightweight Surface Pro 4 can fill in as both a tablet and a laptop. With a sharp, low-glare screen, it’s great for working in bright coffeehouses or on trains. We also love the nine-hour battery and Windows Hello’s facial recognition for secure, instantaneous log-ins. From $899,

At s u ko K u d o b o d y s u i t , C a l v i n K l e i n b l a ze r, S tu a r t We i z t m a n b o o t s ( p r ev i o u s p a g e)

Relax, frequent fliers. One charge will keep the Gorilla Glass screen working for 800 transfers.


eau de toilette

eau de toilette


WWW.ULTRAMARATHONMAN.COM Available wherever books & e-books are sold • Follow us @rodalebooks on


As told—and experienced—by ultramarathoner and New York Times best-selling author Dean Karnazes

This go-kart is a know-cart: Sensors can detect nearby obstacles and avoid collisions automatically.

Arrow Smart-Kart BEST FOR

Raising the next Junior Now your kid has a whip worthy of Frank Bullitt. This batterypowered go-kart for 5- to 9-yearolds tops out at 12 mph, zooms around for 30 to 60 minutes on a charge, and has drifting capability. Anxious parents worried about their kid’s need for too much speed can control the max and define driving boundaries via an app, or stop the fun cold with the push of a killjoy button. $1,000, 26 TECH GUIDE 2017 MEN’S HEALTH

If it strays outside a preset cyberfence, the onboard GPS cuts speed to a crawl until the car is back on course.

Bosebuild Speaker Cube

Marbotic Smart Numbers



The boombox builder

Very early adopters

Tune up your relationship with your kid (8 years or older) in 60 minutes by constructing this Bluetooth speaker. Let him or her customize the cover panels and LED colors, but keep your phone password secret so you’re not listening to Kidz Bop. The bright sound is what you expect from Bose. $149,

Toymaker Melissa and Doug has an interactive player in the woodentoy market: Marbotic. This company makes wooden numbers and letters that look old-fashioned but work with its reading, writing, and math apps to make learning fun for toddlers. Numbers, $35; letters, $50; $80 for the set,

illo tk

TREATS FOR LITTLE GEEKS Teach the basics of coding under the guise of gaming. BLOXELS Imagine assembling a Super Mario–style obstacle course using Lego-type blocks, and then uploading and actually playing the 13-bit level yourself on your phone or tablet. That’s the idea behind Bloxels, one of the coolest and most hands-on ways to let your kids play god inside their own video game. $50, OSMO The Osmo system has a range of games for children. In Coding, kids snap together a series of blocks, each representing simple commands like “run,” “jump,” and “touch.” Then Awbie, a video game character on an iPad screen (yes, you need an iPad), responds to these realworld commands as they help him hunt for strawberries and other objects. $145 for the set, SPHERO SPRK+ This little ball comes armed with infinite possibilities. Download the companion Lightning Lab app and your kids can easily program the scratch-resistant, waterproof orb to perform hundreds of custom tasks—everything from swimming across a pool to navigating a simple maze. $130,

GoPro Karma BEST FOR

Making badass memories Karma is the first full-featured drone that’s truly packable. The rotor arms collapse neatly (blades still attached), and because the GoPro camera sits in line with the body instead of beneath it, the legs are shorter and can retract for transport. The entire rig fits into a slim backpack. Karma’s neatest trick? You can detach the three-axis gimbal that stabilizes the camera and mount it on a hand grip (included) for ultrasmooth terrestrial videos. From $800,

Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS BEST FOR

A mid-teen crisis Tackling this 2,704-piece Lego hot rod could help you gain traction with your teen. The 1:8 scale model includes a working gearbox, adjustable spoiler, and flat 6 engine with moving pistons. Not included: the growl of a Porsche and the patience for an eight-hour build. $300,

Stowaway Snow Tube Set

emotion, interacts with the environment, and becomes more of BEST FOR a “person” the more you play with Families with pet allergies him. (Facial recognition software Rec robots, it seems, didn’t helps him build bot/human relaevolve much after Sony’s Aibo tionships.) This Wall-E wannabe dogs—until now. Meet Cozmo, has no parts to assemble and the brainchild of animators, video needs only a compatible iOS or game designers, roboticists, Android device, so you—uh, your and artificial intelligence experts. kid—can have a new pal straight Cozmo plays games, shows out of the box. $180,

Cozmo, the Smart Bot

The One Smart Piano



Snow day fun

Low-key learning

Face-planting in the snow at 20 mph isn’t the best way for your 5-year-old to learn about the joys of winter. There’s a better way to sled: tubing in this lightweight air doughnut. With a one-minute inflate time, even the most impatient little nipper (or parent) won’t have time to grumble. $179,

Mrs. Crabapple, you’ve been replaced by a digital teacher that lets users of all skill levels check out games, video lessons, and sheet music with an iOS or Android device. Light-up keys and builtin MP3 speakers that work with Pandora, Spotify, and other apps make it party-ready. $300,

THE YEAR OF SPEED AND SAFETY Driving might be more fun than ever, but all that speed comes at a cost: Accident rates are up 10.4 percent this year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thankfully, a host of tech upgrades, from lane-keeping-assist mechanisms to automatic braking systems, means driving can be safer than ever too. It’s also less of a hassle: Perks like automatic high beams and smartphone integration make the cockpit of even the most basic car a smarter, friendlier place. Over a very fun three-month period, we put more than 20 vehicles through their paces. We found rocket-fast acceleration, insane braking, blissful cruising, and more. Then we chose our favorites, which you’ll read about on these pages. Each offers something to like no matter what road you’re traveling.

Camaro SS Convertible BEST FOR

Speed and savings A smooth 6-speed manual transmission and the Corvette’s 455 hp V8 engine help this chariot handle bad roads with good manners. Bonus: We averaged 21 mpg over mixed highway and city miles. From $37,900, $43,900 for convertible,



City racers This diminutive “sport sedan” boasts Lexus build quality and comfort and has every imaginable safety feature. That’s a good thing, because its 6-cylinder, 306 hp engine could make it a rolling crime scene in less than 6 seconds. From $44,525,

With a Corvette engine spitting fire under its hood, the new Camaro boasts sports car speed and muscle car looks and devours corners and straights with gusto.

Mustang GT/CS Premium Fastback BEST FOR

Muscle and looks Now over 50 years old, the Mustang remains affordable and true to its roots. This package has a 435 hp, 32-valve V8 that produces 400 poundfeet of torque and a top speed of about 165 mph. From $38,915,

Mazda Miata MX-5 RF BEST FOR

Flair and reliability Since 1989 the Mazda Miata has been a worthy and dependable alternative to British roadsters like the MG. The fourth-generation MX-5 adds a 6-speed automatic transmission and a retractable hardtop. Price TBD,

Combine a buttery leather interior with Naim Audio blasting out 1,950 watts through 20 speakers, and you have a club on wheels.

Drive Away with a Beauty


BMW fanboys It may not have quite the taut handling, sharp cornering, or elegant interior of a BMW, but the TLX is plenty fun to drive. The upsized 290 hp V6 version costs 10 grand less than the 320 hp 340i, and it’s better equipped. From $35,350,

Bentley Bentayga BEST FOR

Golf club bragging rights

Honda Ridgeline RTL-E BEST FOR

Nobody needs a $230,000 SUV, but that’s not really the point. Most of these will only go off-road when the country club is repaving its driveway, but the 600 hp, 12-cylinder engine will certainly get you to your tee time on schedule (even if you’re also towing your 7,000-pound sailboat). Did we mention that the Bentayga has a top speed of 187 mph and can accelerate from zero to 60 in 4 seconds?


All-around fun and adventure

Toyota Land Cruiser

BMW i8

Jaguar F-PACE




Attention hogs

Hugging curves and handling cargo

The accident-prone

This shot across the bow of the folks at Porsche comes cheap, despite some impressive standards, such as a supercharged 340 hp V6 and all-wheel drive. It’s spacious and outhandles many SUVs. From $40,009,

The new E-class Benz isn’t a car, it’s a butler: steering, accelerating, and braking by itself while simultaneously scanning the road on all sides for pedestrians, road hazards, and stopped traffic. From $52,150,

With smart storage, including a stash spot in the bed, the Ridgeline is a perfect rig for multitaskers. It had the best handling of any pickup we tested. Plus, it has speakers in the bed. Rock on. From $41,370,

Safari in style Under the luxe leather is one of the most reliable off-road vehicles you’ll find. If you put Indiana Jones on four wheels, this is how he’d look. Its biggest drawback: guzzling gas at 13 mpg. From $84,325, 30 TECH GUIDE 2017 MEN’S HEALTH

You’re guaranteed to attract a crowd when you pull up at the Dairy Queen in BMW’s plug-in hybrid two-seater—and that’s before you pop open the butterfly doors and casually step out to order your Buster Bar. During the week we drove this aluminum-and-carbon-fiber beast, we never parked anywhere without having to answer questions from bystanders: “No, it’s not mine.” “Yes, it’s fast.” (Zero to 62 in 3.6 seconds.) “I’ve been getting better than 70 mpg.” “Around 140K.” The i8 can cruise all-electric for about 10 miles, but it’s best to let the car’s computer decide how to balance its 3-cylinder twin turbo engine and electric motor. From $140,700,

2017 MercedesBenz E300 BEST FOR

To p s h o p b o d y s u i t a n d s n e a k e r s , A d i d a s s o c k s ( p r e v i o u s p a g e )

From $229,100,

The A7 has everything we could want for short commutes and long road trips: power when it’s needed (courtesy of the 333 hp, 8-speed V6), sleek styling, allwheel drive, and curb appeal of the gods. The interior is so sublime and tasteful—our test car had “cedar brown” leather—that you may not want to get out of it when you arrive home from work. From $68,800,

Young professionals


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THE SKEPTIC’S GUIDE TO VIRTUAL REALITY We’ve suffered through enough half-baked gadgets to question the wisdom of strapping a high-powered Lite-Brite machine to our face for a few hours. But then there we were, somewhere high above the coast of Africa, floating through the wreckage of a mangled space station in search of oxygen canisters. We’d fired up a game called ADR1FT (see below) and after a half hour, the sweat began to drip. Was it the heat of the VR goggles? Or was it the space helmet? What was real? What was rendered? It almost didn’t matter: We were hooked. VR is here, and it’s worth the hype. But don’t take our word for it. Get into the game with our guide.




Google Daydream View

PlayStation VR

Oculus Rift

A perfect intro to VR, this system uses the computer in your pocket, not a dedicated power plant. Fire up an app, slip it in the headset, and go. It’s compatible with the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system. $79,

Why buy a new rig when your existing PS4 will do? This one offers dead-easy setup and a roster of exclusive games. Microsoft has its own experience brewing as well. $400,

Go big with this high-fidelity setup. HTC’s Vive headset and the Valve Steam VR platform are in the same class. Clever peripherals unlock the best in immersive gaming. $599,

Adventure Time A platformer (think Super Mario 64) reimagined for VR, this fun title features kids’ favorite cartoon duo. Prices vary,

Dirt Rally This all-weather racing sim includes real-time course prompts from your shotgun-seated navigator. Live on the edge! $60,

ADR1FT Ever see Gravity with Sandra Bullock? Well, now you’re Sandra. Good luck with that! NASA should take note. Prices vary,

Nikon KeyMission 360 Make your reality virtual with this tough, dual-lens camera that generates 4K images in every direction. $500,

Logitech G920 Driving Force Wheel Real-time force feedback and functional gas and brake pedals make all the difference with driving simulators. $400,

Alienware Aurora Tailor-made for VR, this computer comes dual graphics–ready and features liquid cooling under the hood. $1,000,